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Belsize Park convenience store becomes first UK store to be ‘fully powered by IoT technology’

Image courtesy of Kavanagh Group/SES-imagotag

A Belsize Park convenience store has become the first grocery store to be “fully powered by IoT (Internet of Things) technology”.

Kavanagh’s of Belsize has become the UK’s first Vusion 360 shop, using technology from SES-imagotag, which specialises in digital solutions for physical commerce. This makes it, says the technology company, the first fully IoT-powered grocery store in the UK. The new system promises to give the retailer a 360° view on all activities in the store, with a steady supply of both data and feedback that allows it to manage inventory, maintain accurate pricing and promotions, and executive in-store marketing campaigns. Since putting the automated price and promotions in place, offering real-time shelf visibility, the store has seen sales rise by more than 130%, with sales from fruit and vegetable displays up by between 80% and 140%. The store is also expected to save both waste – with expectations that this will fall by more than 50% in coming weeks – and time, since digital signage is set to save 10 hours a week for staff who no longer have to change paper tickets.

Noel Kavanagh Jnr, store owner and managing director of the Ireland-based Kavanagh Group, which trades under brands including Budgens and Supervalu, says: “The 360 store delivers capabilities that allow us to get timely insights and visibility on shelf stock availability, promotion execution, “proof of play” and more accurate and efficient restocking. 

“By turning the physical store into a digital asset, we can optimise return on investment opportunities on an ongoing, sustainable basis in a volatile and challenging market. Our customers can also utilise a store that is agile and efficient, meaning that the store staff have more time to serve and assist them.”

Future additions are set to include sustainability ratings, and digital media solutions that show shoppers offers in-store. 

David Morgan, VP customer value propositions at SES-imagotag, says: “Retailers are under immense pressure to increase revenue and reduce operational costs, all while generating a better customer experience,” says. “In a bid to achieve this, they are operating numerous different processes to ensure their stores run smoothly.

“While each of these processes undoubtedly bring value to individual teams or departments within a store, many of them aren’t connected enough to deliver their highest value. A store utilising an integrated set of digital solutions that work together becomes a digital asset with the ability to use granular insight to improve performance and service with exceptional agility and efficiency.”

The technology is already widely used in Europe, where about 1,500 stores are equipped with it. Home furnishings retailer JYSK this week said it would use it in more than 150 new shops in Belgium and the Netherlands. 

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