By the end of 2019, nothing but electronic price labels in all Colruyt stores

By the end of 2019, all paper price labels in all 240 Colruyt stores in Belgium and Luxembourg will be replaced with electronic price labels with which Colruyt Lowest Prices can react to price changes even faster. The new labels are moreover equipped with technology for contactless information exchange. The retailer uses it to communicate with his customer even better in the future. In recent years, Colruyt invested a lot in digital innovation and consciously chose sustainable systems. The electronic price label is not just energy saving, but it also allows Colruyt to save 75 million paper labels a year and transport costs. Money the supermarket invests again in the lowest prices strategy. Colruyt Zottegem is the first store to be equipped with the new price labels.

React to price changes even faster

Electronic price labels are not new in the retail sector, but Colruyt deliberately waited for an affordable and sustainable system that offers possibilities for the future as regards digital innovation, and clearly reflects the retailer's price policy. Colruyt Sales manager Christophe Dehandschutter explains: “Colruyt follows prices. We adapt our prices several times a day as a reaction to competitors. Today, these price adaptations are made manually. By digitalising this process, Colruyt will be able to react to unexpected price changes even faster. Moreover, store employees have more time for their core tasks such as preparing the store for sale and helping our customers shop."

New step towards digital innovation

Colruyt consciously chooses electronic price labels equipped with extra assets such as led lights and, more importantly, the innovative Near Field Communication technology (NFC).  "We at Colruyt want to reinforce the bond between the physical store and the online experience of customers. We want to connect with our customers more to make shopping even more efficient for them. For this reason, we keep a close track of digital developments. Since 2016, we have the MyColruyt app, and since early this year, we are testing shopping lists recorded by means of Google Assistant. With the new technology behind our price labels, we are taking another step towards more digital innovation; indeed, we can now exchange product information between the labels and our app", says Christophe Dehandschutter

Thanks to the NFC technology, wireless information exchange is possible between two devices close to one another. ”The technology offers many possibilities. When customers hold their smartphone against the price label of a wine, we can transmit product information via the MyColruyt app, for instance for which dish this wine is suitable. Our electronic price labels are also equipped with led lights. This can make picking Collect&Go reservations more efficient in the future", Christophe Dehandschutter continues.

90 tonnes of paper saved

With this digital innovation, Colruyt reduces its ecological footprint. Every year, we print 75 million price labels. By digitalising them, the retailer saves approx. 90 tonnes of paper a year. He can also reduce transport costs since transport of the labels to the stores by truck is no longer required. Moreover, the technology behind the new price labels is energy saving since it only uses electricity when a price change is transmitted. Christophe Dehandschutter: "We consciously waited for a system that is sustainable at different levels. And everything we save - paper, transport, energy - is of course invested in our lowest prices."

Elaborately tested with customer input: the scoop is for Colruyt Zottegem

The new price labels have been tested in 4 Colruyt stores: Zottegem, Avelgem, Merelbeke and Haaltert. During the elaborate testing period, Colruyt organised a customer survey during which customers mainly requested a larger format and better readability. Colruyt took this suggestion into account in its final decision. The 4 test stores are the first to be equipped with the price labels finally chosen. Colruyt Zottegem gets the scoop. The other Colruyt stores are converted as from May this year so that all Belgian stores should be equipped with electronic price labels by the end of 2019. Colruyt Luxembourg is next.

Training by colleagues: unique approach

Colruyt brings all its services into action to realise the digital innovation in a short period, from IT to work simplification, which is exceptional. The Colruyt technicians prepare everything and after that, the store co-workers take over. One co-worker of each store will go to the training with all other regional representatives to prepare for coaching their colleagues during the conversion. The conversion to electronic price labels takes about 1 week per store and will be done during opening hours. The supermarket wants to realise the entire roll-out in 6 months' time.

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About Colruyt

Colruyt is Colruyt Group's Lowest Prices supermarket. The store chain has been guaranteeing the lowest price for each product at any moment for more than 40 years now. Customers can find about 10,500 food and 7,500 non-food products, from fresh fruit and vegetables and meat to cleaning and care products. Colruyt also stands out by its simplicity, efficient shopping and efforts in the field of sustainability. The chain operates 243 stores in Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and employs approximately 15,000 people. Customers can also order their purchases in the Colruyt web shop and pick them up in about 200 Collect&Go collection points.

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