Panasonic Introduces Intelligent Retail Shelving Solution at #NRF15

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

It’s more than a year since we’ve heard of companies offering new electronic shelving solutions, so it was interesting today to learn of Panasonic’s introduction of its Powershelf suite of solutions at the 2015 National Retail Federation Annual Convention & EXPO.

Panasonc management says that Powershelf is the first fully integrated retail merchandising solution to combine battery-free, wirelessly powered electronic shelf labels (ESLs), beacon activated mobile advertising capability, inventory and price management software and out-of-stock sensor technology. The solution can be installed on existing shelving units, delivering maximum value for retailers with minimum investment.

Rance Poehler, president, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America says, “By leveraging our global distribution network, engineering capabilities, enhanced technology, and manufacturing prowess, we’ll help equip retailers worldwide with solutions that will directly affect their bottom line.”

Powershelf features a suite of technologies that help retailers reduce labor and material costs, ensure regulatory compliance, enable omni-channel marketing, drive sales with targeted advertising, create new revenue streams and more. Key solution features include:

  • Out-of-Stock Sensors: Powershelf Out-of-Stock Sensors immediately detect out-of-stocks and notify store personnel to remedy the situation and maximize on shelf availability sales, and consumer satisfaction. Out of stocks cost retailers 4% of annual sales;
  • Beacon Activated Mobile Advertising: Battery free beacons help to increase the connection between retailers and their consumers and improves the shopping experience. The proximity-based communication and at-shelf advertising allows retailers to offer their own shopping network, ensuring customers only receive information and discounts relevant to them;
  • Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs): Battery-free ESLs ensure accurate pricing and enable retailers to remotely change pricing on any SKU in the store in minutes. The system also eliminates the need for battery disposal or paper price tags, creating significant cost reductions and an attractive carbon footprint friendly solution for retailers focused on environmental sustainability;
  • Lighted Shelving: Powershelf Lighting helps retailers to clearly differentiate key brands from competitors and delivers shopper-stopping power. Lighting naturally attracts consumers and can provide a lift of up to 6% in sales;
  • Temperature Control-Enabled Tags: In freezer and refrigerated areas, Powershelf ESLs alert retailers when temperatures are out of compliance, helping to avoid spoilage, safety risks and potential fines;
  • Modular Integrity: the prices are locked into place allowing for planogram integrity. Studies show this can add 1% to annual sales;
  • Ease of installation: The solution can be added directly to the front of existing retail shelving infrastructure, reducing the need for costly overhauls and the resulting customer disruptions.

“There’s a massive shift in consumer shopping behavior occurring,” says Larry McWilliams, former president of Campbell’s Soup USA and CEO of Powershelf. “Over 70% of people are now using mobile devices as part of their path to purchase. Retailers need to provide a retail experience to fit the mobile era. Additionally, the paper tag and manual inventory management processes that are being employed today are arguably the most antiquated processes in modern retailing. Powershelf is a foundational technology platform that transforms how products are retailed. With power and communication at the shelf, the opportunities are limitless.”

Poehler says, “Up to 43% of consumers will go to another store to buy an item if the one they are looking for is out-of-stock. That can have a huge impact on a retailer’s bottom line. In an increasingly competitive retail environment, out-of-stock situations are unacceptable. Arming retailers with real-time insight into their available on-shelf inventory creates a clear competitive edge. Out-of-stock sensors and the ability to communicate shortages in real-time is one of many ways the Powershelf solution can drive dramatic increases in retailer profitability while, at the same time, improving the customer experience.”

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