STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 50

n

IT

Just-in-Time Information
How Giant Eagle's technology experiments reduce losses from out-of-stocks
by PETER JOHNSTON

E

arlier this year, the Harvard Business
Review released a Microsoft-sponsored
study on the current state of data
collection and analysis technology, and its
expected short-term effects on business.
The study, based on a survey of global
business leaders, found that 80 percent of
them think their industry will be disrupted
by digital transformation within the next
three years.
Fewer than half, however, said they
actually had a digital strategy in place.
In one respect, that's not too surprising.
Although there's a great deal of talk
about the age of big data - we are,
according to the World Economic
Forum, now living through the Fourth
Industrial Revolution - there's less talk
about what this actually means in terms
of running a business.
On the other hand, the absence of a
corporate grand strategy tends to obscure
the fact that there's a lot of very interesting
work going on out there. Retailers - and

50

STORES September 2017

the technology and systems companies
they're partnering with - may not have a
map of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,
but they have a firm grasp on a key central
point about data: What you don't know
can hurt you.
REDUCING OUT-OF-STOCKS
Take unrecognized out-of-stock
merchandise. For the average retailer,
out-of-stocks are responsible for lost
revenue amounting to 4.1 percent of total
sales, according to a 2015 study from
IHL Group - a total of $129.5 billion in
North America.
The study places the blame on five areas:
bad processes, people problems, data
issues, supplier issues and theft.
All these problem areas (except theft)
could theoretically be improved by access
to timelier and more accurate information
- better data. That is the assumption
driving western Pennsylvania-based
grocery chain Giant Eagle to experiment

with a relatively new technology called
Powershelf.
Powershelf co-CEO John White heads
Compass Marketing, a communications
and strategy consulting firm that also does
some investing.
Powershelf was "looking for a little
help in the area of marketing," White
says, "and we were so fascinated with
the technology that we ended up buying
a majority of the company. Basically,
it's helping retailers digitize their store
shelves. They can manage their inventory
electronically on the shelf, they can see
it live and they can manage their pricing
electronically, so that associates don't have
to go to the shelf and do a price change."
CONNECTING
KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION
Giant Eagle, with 400 stores in four
states, is testing the technology in some
of its Columbus, Ohio, stores across a
handful of commodity items. "We got into

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - September 2017

Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
Trends
Retail People
The Favorite 50
RFID Is Ready to Revolutionize the Retail Industry
Playing Their Tune
C2W
Store Operations
Marketing
Payments
How Stonewall Kitchen Boosted Sales and Reengaged Customers
Finance
Store Operations
Inventory Management
Online
How Giant Eagle’s Technology Experiments Reduce Losses From Out-of-Stocks.
Startup Spotlight
Analytics
ORC
Fraud
Stores at 100
POV
Communities
End Cap
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Intro
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - cover1
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - cover2
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 3
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 4
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 5
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Editor’s Page
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 7
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - President’s Page
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 9
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Retail Politics
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - NRF News
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Trends
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 13
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 14
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 15
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 16
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Retail People
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 18
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - The Favorite 50
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 20
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 21
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 22
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 23
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 24
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - RFID Is Ready to Revolutionize the Retail Industry
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 26
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 27
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Playing Their Tune
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 29
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 30
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - C2W
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Store Operations
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 33
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 34
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 35
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Marketing
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 37
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Payments
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 39
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - How Stonewall Kitchen Boosted Sales and Reengaged Customers
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 41
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Finance
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 43
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Store Operations
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 45
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Inventory Management
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 47
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Online
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 49
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - How Giant Eagle’s Technology Experiments Reduce Losses From Out-of-Stocks.
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 51
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Startup Spotlight
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 53
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Analytics
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 55
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 56
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - ORC
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 58
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 59
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Fraud
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 61
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Stores at 100
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 63
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - POV
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - Communities
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - End Cap
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - cover3
STORES Magazine - September 2017 - cover4
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