Will Smart shelves ever be smart enough for Kroger and other retailers?
by Tom Ryan
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm said the supermarket’s test of smart shelves has reached 14 locations.
With Kroger’s mobile app open, sensors detect shoppers in aisles to offer personal pricing and product suggestions. “I can highlight products for you on a high-definition display on the shelf edge,” said Mr. Hjelm.
As examples, he noted how a gluten-free shopper might find relevant products highlighted in the nutrition-bar section. Shoppers might receive their “personal price” or hear a ping to alert them that a bottle of wine from their shopping list is on a nearby shelf, he said.
Smart shelf proponents also tout their ability to facilitate automated pricing changes as a huge labor-saving advance. They also promise on-demand nutritional information updates.
Some smart shelves can measure inventory life or identify when shelves are running low on product or empty. Using a solution from Powershelf powered by Microsoft Azure, Giant Eagle has reduced its out-of-stock replenishment time by two-thirds and cut its out-of-stock SKUs by 50 percent on any given day, according to Microsoft. .... "