Packaging International News - August 2012

The First UK Store Switches to Electronic Shelf Labelling

Posted by Christine Alford - Packaging International Reporter on 07/08/2012 - 05:25:00

Electronic Shelf Labelling

A Nisa Local store in Shrewsbury has installed 2,000 Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) and in doing so has become the first UK retail store to put the labelling technology to use.

The 2,000 ESL units were supplied, fitted and project managed by Herbert Retail, a retail technology provider.

The switch from the traditional paper sticker label to the electronic label has taken place in the Nisa store as Rav Garcha, the store manager, was appeased by the improved dynamic between customer and retailer the electronic labels provided.

Electronic Shelf Labelling

The ESL system enables retailers to easily update product information that can then be easily displayed on the electronic labels. Customers are able to scroll through the logged information on the labels when they are shopping and in this way the product is said to provide a more informative service for the shopper.

One of the characteristics of the electronic labels that retailers may find handy is how they are all linked by a single piece of software that can be controlled by a PC. This could make it easier for retailers to index products and to efficiently under go a stock check.

Retailers can also log product updates. For example, if there are any promotional deals going on at a particular time or if there has been any alterations in prices then these can be quickly logged and sent to the label. Or, if an item is out of stock the labels can display when the store is expected to have its next delivery

First UK Digital Shelf Labels

It seems these labels are intended to make life in retail much easier and that trip to the shop as smooth as possible, as long as the software runs as it is intended too.

Although there may be initial costs for retailers to invest and then to install the ESL technology, once installed, the system has bee reported to reduce the amount of staff time as well as lowering printing costs.

The labelling system is commonly used in stores in Europe but hasn't yet taken off in the UK. We seem to have been attached to the, simple yet reliable, paper label. Perhaps, stores across the country will now begin to adopt this piece of retail technology as Rav has in his Shrewsbury Nisa store.

He has commented on why he thinks the technology is something retailers should get excited about:

"The reason I think it is really interesting and exciting is because of the amount of options we can execute with a very small label on the shelf. For example, we can use QR codes, we can link meal deals, we can inform the customer about product information so the customer gets a more informed purchasing experience."

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