Wakefern Food Corporation, a Keasbey, N.J.-based grocery retail cooperative, is planning a 50-store test of a computer vision system that automatically identifies when product stock runs outs on shelves.
As reported in a SupermarketNews article, once out-of-stocks are flagged, the system helps store associates prioritize them as they occur and recoup the most lost sales as possible per labor hour to make the most customers happy. The system keeps track of both lost sales per hour (LSH) and frustrated shoppers per hour (FSH). The company said this information enables them to track an “out-of-stock hours” metric that makes it easier for them to rack on-shelf availability of products from store to store.
“Focal Systems’ out-of-stock detection through computer vision and artificial intelligence has enabled us to automatically identify shelf gaps,” Wakefern Chief Information Officer Cheryl Williams said. “This early success has encouraged our members to opt into a 50-store pilot expansion this autumn.”
Focal noted that its platform allows store associates to spend more time serving customers because it eliminates the need to manually scan for out-of-stock items.
“Customer expectations are high, and retailers want to deliver on those expectations,” stated Focal CEO Francois Chaubard. “Focal Systems provides the real-time data retailers need to run their stores efficiently…”