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Metropolitan Market to automate store operations with cameras

Metropolitan Market
Metropolitan Market is deploying shelf cameras.

A regional Northwest grocery retailer will pilot shelf-based cameras to streamline and optimize a number of in-store workflows.

Metropolitan Market, a Good Food Holdings subsidiary which operates nine stores across Washington state, will deploy the Focal Systems Operating System (FocalOS) to digitally automate ordering, inventory management, and merchandising processes. This pilot will involve deploying hundreds of tiny shelf cameras that digitally collect shelf data hourly with computer vision.

The retailer will then leverage that data to automate in-store processes and enable accurate, just-in-time ordering, replacing its manual daily out-of-stock scan with automated hourly scans. As a result, Metropolitan Market seeks to improve product availability for customers, increase the productivity of replenishment staff, and reduce food waste with better produce ordering.

“For nearly five decades, Metropolitan Market has been providing a leading and award-winning experience for customers across the state of Washington,” said Ron Megahan, CEO of Metropolitan Market. “In a rapidly evolving world, it’s our duty to continue innovating in order to provide the best possible experience for shoppers at all of our locations. Through our partnership with Focal Systems and their self-driving store, we’ll be able to remain the leading independent grocer in the region.”

“Good Food Holdings is one of the premier retail holding companies in the nation, touting some of the leading luxury grocers across Washington and California,” said Francois Chaubard, CEO and founder of Focal Systems. “As the groundswell of AI and computer vision adoption takes hold across retail and grocery, early adopters, like Metropolitan Market, will see optimizations and enhancements across the in-store experience for customers, and in the backroom for staff, completely transforming the shopping experience and separating them from other retailers in the industry.”

Walmart Canada sees into store stock levels

Following a 70-store pilot, Walmart Canada is rolling out computer vision artificial intelligence (AI) technology from Focal Systems that uses cameras to automate out-of-stock detection to all stores. The solution, which is integrated with the retailer’s existing inventory systems, automatically detects real-time availability concerns, such as out-of-stock or low-stock products on shelves, and directs store associates to replenish them.

Founded in 1971, Metropolitan Market has nine locations (with a 10th on the way) across Washington State. It is a banner of Good Food Holdings, the holding company for food retailing brands Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres Natural Market, New Seasons Market, New Leaf Community Markets, and Metropolitan Market.

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