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CARTERET, N.J. -- Pathmark Stores, Inc. said yesterday that it would work with Pasadena, Calif.-based Evolution Robotics Retail, Inc. and IBM to roll out the LaneHawk Visual Scanning Solution in seven stores this month to fight bottom-of-basket (BoB) loss.
The chain pilot-tested the solution in three stores last year. The latest expansion puts Lanehawk in a total of 10 Pathmark locations, Evolution Robotics Retail spokeswoman Neva Garcia told Progressive Grocer. Garcia added that she expects the solution to be eventually implemented in "at least 40" Pathmark stores.
"Having BoB items walk out the door without being paid for is a big -- and growing -- problem that grocery retailers have tried to address for years," noted Pathmark s.v.p. of asset protection Bob Oberosler in a statement. "We went so far as removing the bottom racks from our carts in some of our stores, but this was costing us significant revenue and putting us at a competitive disadvantage. We also tested other devices to alert the cashiers to BoB items, but none of these other approaches worked. LaneHawk is the only product that solves the BOB loss problem."
Historically, most solutions to reduce BOB loss have relied on cashiers' visually checking the bottom of customers' carts, employing mirrors, stickers, training, or other detection methods, and then manually scanning those items. LaneHawk uses patented visual-pattern recognition technology to detect, identify, and present BoB items directly to the point of sale, allowing cashiers to add those items directly to the transaction.
"Since we started using LaneHawk, we have been able to reduce BoB shrink by 90 percent, resulting in approximately a 50 basis-point improvement in our grocery shrink," said Pedro Ramos of Pathmark's Loss Prevention Unit.
Pathmark said LaneHawk's item recognition also enabled it to track cashier performance, which led to the identification and dismissal of a cashier who admitted to "sweethearting" over $1,000 worth of product.
IBM Global Technology Services, an Evolution Robotics Retail partner, helped Pathmark integrate LaneHawk into its current IT environment.
Pathmark operates 142 stores mainly in the New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
Other food retailers that employ the LaneHawk Visual Scanning Solution include Lanham, Md.-based Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.
Evolution Robotics Retail, a subsidiary of Evolution Robotics, Inc., is an operating company of Idealab, a creator and operator of technology businesses.