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Three years ago, I moderated a webcast about a little-known technology that was designed to prevent bottom-of-the-basket (BOB) theft by scanning items at the bottom of a consumer’s shopping cart.
Called LaneHawk, the system — created by Evolution Robotics — is built on Microsoft’s Windows operating system and uses video analysis to identify and ring up items in a shopping cart’s BOB, to ensure they are not omitted from the order and accidentally given away. LaneHawk’s high-speed vision technology, also used in sophisticated robotics applications, recognizes items without requiring special packaging, tags, transponders or shopping cart modifications.
At the time of the webcast, the loss prevention system was deployed in just one store. This week, the company installed units in Store No. 1,000, making its total deployed base almost 10,000 checkout lanes.
Needless to say, the technology works, say retailers. “LaneHawk has been a proven success in the stores where we’ve tested it, and has helped to reduce bottom-of-basket loss,” said Alan Aront, VP, Wakefern Food Corp. “We look forward to rolling it out to select ShopRite stores in the future.”
Douglas Winsor, president and COO of Haug Enterprises, a Supervalu franchise operator, has seen similar results. “The system has reduced our shrink and improved our operating income,” he said. “As an owner/operator, we are very focused on deploying high ROI, fast payback technology solutions, like LaneHawk.”
BOB items are typically large and often expensive, such as full cases of beverages, produce and paper products. Because of this, Evolution Robotics said savings from preventing these losses pays for the LaneHawk system in as little as six to nine months.
Based in Pasadena, Calif., Evolution Robotics Retail, Inc. develops intelligent products and solutions for the retail industry based on ViPR, its visual pattern recognition technology. For more information, visit www.evoretail.com.