Tesco Brings Shelves to Virtual Reality

To merchandise shelves faster, Tesco supermarkets is using Red Dot Square virtual reality technology to plan how their category ranges appear on shelves. The retailer is integrating the technology into their existing systems and ways of working to drive efficiencies and identify sales opportunities in its U.K. and Ireland stores.
The Red Dot Square technology connects with industry standard shelf planning software to create a 3D environment with photo realistic products sat on shelving within a full store or category aisle. This provides a more accurate view of what shoppers will actually see in different stores.
"Virtual merchandising allows us to pack virtual shelves with virtual products at the press of a button," said Mike McNamara, group CIO for Tesco. "Because we no longer have to go through the laborious process of laying out new merchandise assortments physically, we can now try out infinitely more range and format combinations. For our customers this means we can tailor our store ranges to local needs at the same time as maintaining good planogram management so necessary for efficient operations."
With the new approach the retailer will no longer require physical product specimens from each of their supplier manufacturers. This will cut the planning process enabling significant time savings for their colleagues and suppliers.
Tesco's investment includes the remodeling of meeting space at the Welwyn Garden City Merchandising Center where range planners will be able to experiment with different arrangements, changing how products will appear on the shelf. Different store channels, markets and regional plans can all be created and reviewed side by side.
Over the past year, Tesco and Red Dot Square have been work together to trial and modify the software for the retailer's requirements. Tesco will now be able to deliver immediate floor plans to support the U.K. and ROI markets before expanding to other markets.
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