Wakefern Expands Out-of-Stock Detection Pilot to 50 Stores
Wakefern Food Corp. is expanding its pilot of Focal Systems’ shelf camera-based computer vision solution from four to 50 stores. The technology captures images of store shelves to calculate what’s out of stock, generating data hourly.
“Focal Systems’ out-of-stock detection through computer vision and artificial intelligence has enabled us to automatically identify shelf gaps,” said Cheryl Williams, CIO of Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern. “Each detection is sent directly to Wakefern’s proprietary mobile application, which prioritizes out-of-stocks by department, aisle and in-stock availability. Our stores have seen time savings and operational improvements by incorporating the new information into their daily tasks. This early success has encouraged our members to opt into a 50-store pilot expansion this autumn.”
By eliminating the need to manually scan for out-of-stock items, the solution enables store associates to spend more time with customers.
“Customer expectations are high, and retailers want to deliver on those expectations,” said Francois Chaubard, CEO of San Francisco-based Focal Systems, which has deployed the solution at several retailers worldwide. “Focal Systems provides the real-time data retailers need to run their stores efficiently. The system delivers insight into what’s happening throughout the store and allows for better decision-making by delivering alerts on out-of-stocks to store associates, merchandising teams and supply chain systems. We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Wakefern and continue driving value for them and their customers.”
The largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, Wakefern comprises 50 members who independently own and operate 353 supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite Marketplace and Dearborn Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Virginia. Together with its member companies, the co-op employs more than 70,000 people. Wakefern is No. 8 on Progressive Grocer’s Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.