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    NRF Confab the Stage for New Concepts

    Kroger, Giant Eagle among retailers signing on to technology displayed at show

    The Kroger Co. is evaluating checkout technology that significantly reduces checkout times, improves customer experience and reduces operational costs.

    Live demonstrations of the concept were being shown by Fujitsu at the National Retail Federation Convention this week in New York City.

    Kroger is working with Northrop Grumman Corp.’s business unit, Adaptive Optics Associates, and in discussions with Fujitsu to commercialize the Advantage Checkout system for use in Kroger stores and to bring the concept solution to the general market.

    “We are currently evaluating and looking to expand the Advantage Checkout into additional Kroger stores to determine its ultimate potential,” said Chris Hjelm, Kroger CIO. “The response from both customers and associates has exceeded our expectations. We continue to see a steady increase in use of our Advantage Checkout lanes. Customers are making repeat trips and choosing the Advantage Checkout because of its many enhancements to the shopping experience.”

    Designed for reliability and ease of checkout, the concept reduces checkout time and greatly enhances the customer checkout experience. It revolutionizes the front-end experience by providing the customer with a choice of high-touch concierge level of full service for a fast and accurate self-checkout experience.

    It also potentially reduces the number of checkout lanes, allowing retailers the flexibility to reinvest associate labor in service departments and other value-added activities, and reclaim valuable floor space for additional merchandising and selling opportunities.

    For more information, visit http://solutions.us.fujitsu.com/

    Meanwhile, Giant Eagle has signed an agreement to deploy Galleria’s Behavioral Cluster Planning solution, a behavioral-based clustering solution that provides consumer insight and analysis. The solution will cluster Giant Eagle’s stores based on product and category performance to help the retailer gain more insight to its shoppers’ needs to accurately meet customer demand.

    Giant Eagle is currently using Galleria’s Customer-Centric Merchandising and Promotional Display Optimization solutions and plans to roll out the Behavioral Cluster Planning solution in 2011. “We continuously work to better understand our customers’ wants and needs to provide them with the best shopping experience possible,” said Dan Schnorr, Giant Eagle senior director of retail space planning. “We continue to have great success with Galleria’s other merchandising solutions and look forward to deploying Behavioral Cluster Planning to further optimize sales opportunities and help ensure we have the right products for our customers in store.”

    Using Galleria’s automated application, Giant Eagle can cluster stores based on product and category performance, not pre-set assumptions and constraints. Through a combination of bottom-up and top-town methodologies, the solution accounts for critical factors including local demographics, sales patterns, store sizes and store locations. This intelligent analytical process will enable Giant Eagle to determine the ideal amount of clusters for each category to ensure the benefits of localization are balanced against the costs of implementation. In addition, the ease and scalability of the solution will allow Giant Eagle to perform a complete category cluster analysis within hours.

    For more information about Galleria, visit www.galleria-rts.com.

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