Retail co-ops Scotmid and Southern expand use of digital shelf edge technology

The tech, from industry specialist Herbert Retail, will deliver improved efficiency and better product information

Stores run by retail co-ops at opposite ends of the UK are to benefit from the rollout of cutting edge technology to improve efficiency and deliver better product information.

Cambridge-based technology integrator, Herbert Retail, is supplying and installing the SoluM electronic shelf labels (ESLs) to stores run by Scotmid Co-op and Southern Co-op. Initial trials have already seen increased store efficiency, improved pricing and product information compliance, reduced paper wastage and an enhanced store team morale, it says.

The integrated technology allows for fast, accurate and confirmed information updates , in terms of critical and accurate retail information such as pricing and promotions.

Allan Robertson, programme manager for innovation and change at Scotmid, said: “We are always looking at innovation to pick out the solutions that land real benefit for our customers and colleagues. SoluM’s Electronic Shelf Edge Labels look great, transform our stores and present our price and product information more clearly to our customers. Our store teams are really loving this – removing the burden of price and promotion tasks and compliance isn’t just a productivity boost – it’s been a morale boost too.”

The collaboration between the three businesses started at an event hosted by the Association of Convenience Stores as part of a technology showcase, where the trio explored the potential benefits of electronic shelf labels.

The co-ops trialled Herbert’s technology in two of their stores and have now extended the deployment to 23 stores, with further installations being planned across, replacing traditional paper-based shelf edge pricing and promotion labels, in favour of digital screen technology.

The ESLs, which are manufactured by SoluM, a Samsung invested company, allow the retailers to undertake a roadmap of digital store enhancement.

Paul Sargeant, Southern’s business information and solutions manager, said: “The new ESLs sit beside our strong and continued commitment to sustainability as well as a drive to offer our customers a seamless in store experience.

“It was great to work cooperatively with Scotmid and Herbert to create an offering of mutual benefit for all. The SoluM ESLs from Herbert really enhance the look and feel of the store whilst giving us the ability to highlight extended information to our customers, such as allergens and country of origin information.”

As an expert in the scoping and deployment of retail technology, Herbert will be driving forward with the next phase of the rollout over the coming months.

Mark Channen, sales and marketing director at Herbert Retail, said: “Our ESLs essentially give retailers fully compliant digital real estate for the lines that they sell. The label content can be changed based on a multitude of criteria, to facilitate retail productivity such as better waste management on date sensitive items, or perhaps run timely offers based on seasonal trends or excess stock reduction, and of course there is the elimination of constant paper label waste produced by stores.”