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Tesco trials ESLs and store staff app

Tesco trials ESLs and store staff app
Letchford Express store ESLs
Thursday December 5 2013

UK supermarket automates shelf-edge labelling and introduces its first ever mobile app designed specifically for its store staff to run on its own hudl tablet

Tesco has this week revealed it is trialling two technologies in its UK stores designed to enhance staff productivity and customer service.

The UK’s largest retailer recently extended a pilot of electronic shelf-edge labels (ESLs) from its Letchworth Express store in Hertfordshire to its Enfield Superstore, having imported e-ink technology based ESLs it has already been trialling in other markets, including Hungary.

Benefitting staff and customers alike

Writing in the Talking Shop Tesco blog on Tuesday, Mike McNamara, Tesco chief information officer, said customer feedback had given the retailer’s Innovation Team the confidence to bring the ESL trial to the UK and that its potential productivity benefits were huge.

“It’s a much simpler system than manually changing between five and ten million shelf-edge labels every week,” he wrote. “That’s a lot of time that our colleagues in stores spend changing fiddly labels, which could be better spent serving customers. So that’s one benefit for customers too. 

“The other benefit is even more confidence that the price on the shelf edge is correct. With electronic labels, pricing information can be controlled from a central system and prices are changed instantly. That means that the price on the shelf will always be the same as the price at the till.”

Keeping store colleagues ‘appy

McNamara also commented on the launch of its first ever app designed specifically for Tesco staff. The new ‘Inform’ app has been designed for use on its own recently launched hudl consumer tablet device as well as other tablets and smartphones and provides up-to-date information on product availability.

“That means we don’t leave customer waiting on the shopfloor while we check if we’ve got stock in the back,” he said. “It also provides the exact location of all products instore, so we can help customers find what they need faster and gives helpful prompts on promotions and offers that might interest customers.”

Tagged as: Tesco | grocery | store | labels | ESL | e-ink | pricing | tills | mobile | device | tablet | hudl | app | stock check | availability