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Morrisons deploys AI-powered cameras for greater stock accuracy

Image © Morrisons

Following a successful pilot of AI-powered shelf cameras, Morrisons is set to roll-out the technology across its UK store network by the end of the year.

The supermarket has witnessed improved availability and increased staff efficiency thanks to the cameras and on-shelf data, according to The Grocer.

The technology, from US-based Focal Systems, automates all decision-making in store, from merchandising, ordering and pricing to staffing and task and labour management.

Battery-powered wifi-cameras scan shelves hourly, allowing retailers to know exactly what is on the shelves throughout the day. The AI solution, trained on over 2.5 billion labeled images from global retailers around the world, can then identify restock events and even spoiled produce.

The system is designed to enable faster stocking, reduce food waste and even improve staff wellbeing.

Nick Hook, enterprise architect at Morrisons, said: “As part of the team who designed and built this solution, I can safely say it is delivering improvements to availability, colleague productivity and greater stock accuracy in our supply chain systems.”

Focal Systems announced in 2022 it was working in partnership with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to offer its services to UK supermarkets. It has previously worked with Walmart, with the system introduced across thousands of stores in Canada.

Focal Systems reported seeing a huge demand for its technology in the UK market with retailers looking to adopt AI and automation.

“Artificial intelligence is transforming industries and retailers are still wrapping their minds around how to use it. As Focal has found, when you focus on core tasks, the ROI is so high and can be so powerful,” noted Tony DeNunzio, chairman for the BRC.

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