Market Hub Technologies, a subsidiary of SES-imagotag, has partnered motorway service area operator Roadchef, to deploy its Pulse and Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) technology.

Roadchef has deployed Market Hub’s Pulse retail intelligence assistant and Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) capabilities in all nine of its Spar outlets across its 30 service area locations.

Market Hub’s Pulse technology connects into Roadchef’s point of sale (POS) systems and uses advanced algorithms to identify, analyse and monitor key trends in sales, stock and waste that had previously gone unnoticed in-store losing money.

Its advanced dashboard system tells Roadchef managers how they can optimise revenue, margin and waste reduction and automates the action. When combined with its ESL solution, Market Hub’s Pulse pricing data can be streamed live to the labels on store shelves, providing instant competitor price match, intra-day pricing and promotion capabilities.

Since implementing the Pulse system Roadchef has reported a 10-fold reduction in waste incidents and associated profit-loss, as well as improved visibility of total store and category sales leading to a 2.6% increase in operating profit in the first 7 weeks alone.

Pulse has also provided greater insight into motorist consumer preferences, enabling Roadchef to maximise the profitability of shelf space. Spar outlets across the service area network now stock three times as many premium biscuits and 50% more pet treats than local Spar stores. The group has also seen 85% growth in healthy snacking products.

Roadchef’s ESL trial in three stores built on this to provide savings on consumables associated with old-fashioned paper labels and point-of-sale marketing costs. With ESL now also deployed in all nine Spar stores, Roadchef is already planning to improve margins and sales further through ESL’s dynamic pricing capabilities, which will enable targeted bakery replenishment and product price reductions at optimum times throughout the day. Current stock levels will also be displayed on the ESL’s with the aim to support on-shelf availability improvements.

Mark Rogers, director of retail at Roadchef explained the benefits he has experienced: “Market Hub has been an absolute revelation to our business. We have been forced to compete on the basis of product discounts and promotions so we knew the only way to grow was to understand exactly where we could optimise our business.

We’ve now rolled Pulse and ESL across all of our Spar outlets and plan to extend that further to our WH Smith outlets this year. Market Hub has been a key driver of change in Roadchef and the combined capabilities of Pulse and ESL have revolutionised our stock management and promotions activity, saving us time and money. Promotion compliance is now automatic through ESL, saving 2-3 hours work per promotion for staff in each store and supporting strong brand partner and supplier relationships. We look forward to gaining further benefits in our bakery department and doing our bit to reduce food waste.”

Roy Horgan, Founder and CEO of Market Hub Technologies, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Roadchef and work with them to deliver the full benefits of our Pulse and ESL capabilities across their network. Physical retailers must remain agile and adapt to changing consumer preferences and shopping habits to remain profitable. Pulse enables that. Combined with ESL there are truly exciting prospects such as our Self-lLearning bakery solution which enables up to 20% reduction in waste and a 20% increase in profit. It automates the bakery section by analysing daily sales, stock and waste rates, to create bake plans, dynamically update pricing, and notify customers of discounts. We look forward to rolling this out to customers across the Roadchef network.”

Mark Rogers added: “I have 27 years of experience in the sector. Having a vision and understanding of what will or will not work is one thing, however what Pulse and ESL gives you is actionable and provoking data helping ensure we work collectively to deliver a great customer offer and have the best products at the right price. Suppliers are happy as promotions are automatically applied, customers benefit from promotions being 100% right from opening on day one of the cycle and can trust 100% pricing integrity and product availability.

Most importantly our store teams are freed up to focus on providing great store standards and first-class customer service.”