Colruyt implements new technology to save inventory shelf time

Belgian retailer Colruyt has launched Product Finder technology that it says will save associates up to 90 minutes a day in putting shelves on the shelves.

The new technology, developed by the Colruyt Group Smart Technics innovation team, was tested at Colruyt’s Poperinge and Heverlee stores.

When store workers scan an item with a barcode scanner connected to a smartphone, lights on electronic price tags on the shelf flash to tell them where the item has gone.

Digitalization and Innovation

Rudi Dewulf, Colruyt Lowest Prices Regional Director, said: “This new app aligns with our vision of simplifying the lives of our store associates through digitization and innovation, and enabling them to do their jobs more efficiently (and happily), as we feel strongly about the value of our workers. Well-being. The fact that we also save money as a result is a nice bonus.”

“Colruyt sells about 18,000 items and we know which aisle they are in, but sometimes it is difficult to find the exact location. For example, the aisle with many different types of herbs or the aisle with wine,” he adds.

Between 2017 and 2019, the retailer rolled out smartphones to all 16,000 Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay and Bio-Planet associates.

In addition to regular functions, these phones allow employees to access support services via phone and chat, get delivery information, update price tags, read mail and view e-learning.

launch plan

The retailer hopes to introduce the new feature to all Colruyt lowest price stores by the second half of 2023. It will be rolled out to OKay stores at a later date, the company noted.

Colruyt Group will also explore other uses for the new technology in the future, such as picking items for customers ordering through Collect&Go, or quickly finding items that are close to their expiration date.

“Our priority with this technology today is to simplify the jobs of our store associates. We’ll also look at how customers use it, perhaps with the existing Xtra app,” Dewulf said.

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