Retailers are continuing to invest in retail technology to modernize their enterprises as they look to enhance consumer experience, bolster supply chain visibility, reduce waste, and become more data-driven.
The following are the latest examples from Albertsons, Saks OFF 5TH, Goodwill, and Perry Ellis.
Albertsons Rolls Out AI-Driven Meat and Seafood Ordering System Chainwide
Albertsons is building out its store and inventory management system in the meat and seafood departments of over 2,200 banner stores. The rollout includes grocery store chains under Albertsons Companies, such as Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Vons, and ACME.
The expansion of inventory management technology to meat and seafood is intended to address the financial challenges of shrink and align with Albertsons' ESG objective to minimize food waste.
To spearhead the expansion, the grocer is building on its earlier partnership with fresh food technology solution provider, Afresh, whom they first partnered with earlier this year. Since then, the grocer has reported positive impacts, including delivering fresher produce, maintaining higher in-stock rates, and effectively reducing food waste.
“Managing a meat and seafood department is particularly challenging because of the financial implications of shrink. To meet these challenges, Afresh is leveraging AI at scale to support accurate ordering for complex cutting and production items,” said Dain Charette, chief revenue officer at Afresh. “Additionally, we are excited about furthering our mission and continuing to support Albertsons’ ESG goal of reducing food waste.”
Afresh's platform is designed to improve decision-making throughout the fresh supply chain, offering intelligent and connected solutions that fit some of the unique challenges of managing fresh food. The AI-driven solution optimizes cooler and freezer inventory by providing lightweight recommendations and enhancing in-stock rates for highly perishable items like fresh poultry and prefilled orders for slower-moving products like bacon. The solution also streamlines order placement, tailoring it to the expertise levels of department managers to make quicker, more cost-effective decisions.
Afresh’s food technology also enables store managers to gather data and insights through their software tools, accounting for a margin of error in the difficult-to-predict fresh produce grocery division.
Saks OFF 5TH’s Seamless Checkout Solution
Saks OFF 5TH is looking enhance its e-commerce experience by partnering with checkout technology company Bolt. The company is hoping to improve buying journeys and increase conversions for new customers as well as foster better relationships with new shoppers.
The department store chain is doubling down on growing customer loyalty and is focused on raising the e-commerce bar as part of this effort.
“We’re focused on building customer loyalty through an exceptional customer journey, including a seamless checkout experience,” said Julie Mares, SVP of e-commerce, Saks OFF 5TH. “By integrating Bolt into our checkout flow, we’ve been able to elevate our buying journey for our guest customers leading to significant conversion for new customers and enhanced relationships with formerly unknown shoppers.”
Perry Ellis' BOPIS Efforts
Fashion brand Perry Ellis has selected HotWax Commerce's buy online pick up in-store and ship from store solutions to bolster and broaden its omnichannel fulfillment capabilities. With approximately 70 stores, Perry Ellis needed to leverage same-day BOPIS features beyond Shopify's native capabilities and has turned to HotWax Commerce to help spearhead this effort.
HotWax’s solution integrates with Shopify, offering features such as a BOPIS product detail page app displaying real-time store inventory, a "My Store" option for shoppers to select and save their preferred pickup location, a "Store Mode" enabling customers to explore merchandise specific to a chosen store on the Product Listing Page, and a location-based store lookup feature that allows users to search for pickup locations by zip code or city.
This advanced omnichannel solution enhances the overall customer experience, aligning with Perry Ellis' goal of meeting customer expectations for efficient and personalized shopping experiences across their network of stores.
Goodwill Goes Digital
Goodwill offered a pulse check on its partnership with Salesforce, which launched just over a year ago. At the time, Goodwill was hoping to tap into the massive online resale market with the parentship and launched a digital resale platform designed to capitalize on this opportunity.
Developed in collaboration with Salesforce, the platform, GoodwillFinds.com, has achieved significant traction, having sold over half a million items since its October 2022 launch. The digital interface, built on Commerce Cloud, allows shoppers to explore a curated catalog of items sourced from Goodwill locations nationwide. Initially launched with four local affiliates, the platform has plans to expand its catalog to include goods from 40 locations by the next year and ultimately include items from all 154 affiliates.
GoodwillFinds provides an online thrifting platform with advanced filtering options, allowing users to easily sort and explore items based on brand, condition, and thematic categories.
The move has been a turning point for the retailer. “We weren’t able to sell directly to consumers through a fixed, unified catalog before this,” said Matt Kaness, CEO of GoodwillFinds. “This venture has amplified our brand story in the market and engaged a younger generation by meeting them where they are already shopping.”