Electronic Price Tags

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Re: Electronic Price Tags

Post by storewanderer »

ClownLoach wrote: June 9th, 2024, 10:32 pm Aldi is rolling out the same ones. There was a pile of at least two dozen that had fallen off around the store sitting next to the cashier at their checkstand. Not a good start. They, like Walmart, used a expensive glued on C-channel. If two dozen have fallen off presumably today in a little slow Aldi, there will be no labels at all in a Walmart after a few weeks. This will not work out well.
I expect Wal Mart will figure out how to get this right. After an initial group of test stores where these are falling off, they will figure out a different way to attach them so they stay on the shelves. If they have such a problem attaching them to the shelves that they have to spend a ton of labor walking around and reattaching them all day, then this program may end up shelved. Or they will have to do remodels and make changes to the shelving so this works. In which case the cost-benefit analysis changes and maybe this is why we haven't seen widescale roll outs of these despite the technology being available for many years now.

I have not seen any of these on the floor in Holiday/Sav-Mor but these are small stores (a lot of narrow aisles though) and not overly busy stores. These stores are very neat and orderly operations, primarily rural. They run pretty tight labor budgets in their stores also. I am sure that was a big part of why they deployed these was to save labor.

I do wonder in the case of Wal Mart if they should try this first on certain product categories, as opposed to a storewide implementation. I know to realize the efficiencies they need to get it storewide... on resets they'll still be having to move shelves and pegs all over the place even if they do deploy these.

Given how understaffed Aldi is, I am not surprised they are having this problem with execution on the shelf tags.

Another thing to keep in mind with Wal Mart is the amount of labor they have walking the stores to pull online orders. I don't want to say these employees are going to be responsible for things like picking a fallen shelf tag off the floor and reattaching it (they can't - it would kill their items per hour metric if they had to keep stopping to do that) but I wonder if Wal Mart could build something into the app the pickers are using, like a literal button to push- for them to report that issue and alert whoever is in charge of maintaining these shelf tags to come fix it...
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Re: Electronic Price Tags

Post by ClownLoach »

storewanderer wrote: June 9th, 2024, 10:39 pm
ClownLoach wrote: June 9th, 2024, 10:32 pm Aldi is rolling out the same ones. There was a pile of at least two dozen that had fallen off around the store sitting next to the cashier at their checkstand. Not a good start. They, like Walmart, used a expensive glued on C-channel. If two dozen have fallen off presumably today in a little slow Aldi, there will be no labels at all in a Walmart after a few weeks. This will not work out well.
I expect Wal Mart will figure out how to get this right. After an initial group of test stores where these are falling off, they will figure out a different way to attach them so they stay on the shelves. If they have such a problem attaching them to the shelves that they have to spend a ton of labor walking around and reattaching them all day, then this program may end up shelved. Or they will have to do remodels and make changes to the shelving so this works. In which case the cost-benefit analysis changes and maybe this is why we haven't seen widescale roll outs of these despite the technology being available for many years now.

I have not seen any of these on the floor in Holiday/Sav-Mor but these are small stores (a lot of narrow aisles though) and not overly busy stores. These stores are very neat and orderly operations, primarily rural. They run pretty tight labor budgets in their stores also. I am sure that was a big part of why they deployed these was to save labor.

I do wonder in the case of Wal Mart if they should try this first on certain product categories, as opposed to a storewide implementation. I know to realize the efficiencies they need to get it storewide... on resets they'll still be having to move shelves and pegs all over the place even if they do deploy these.

Given how understaffed Aldi is, I am not surprised they are having this problem with execution on the shelf tags.

Another thing to keep in mind with Wal Mart is the amount of labor they have walking the stores to pull online orders. I don't want to say these employees are going to be responsible for things like picking a fallen shelf tag off the floor and reattaching it (they can't - it would kill their items per hour metric if they had to keep stopping to do that) but I wonder if Wal Mart could build something into the app the pickers are using, like a literal button to push- for them to report that issue and alert whoever is in charge of maintaining these shelf tags to come fix it...
I wouldn't describe the staffing situation at Aldi as having anything to do with the fact two dozen or more tags fell off presumably today. They have a variety of issues but missing pricing is never once I've seen until today. I noticed several were already cracked with broken screens although it didn't affect the visibility of the price.
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Re: Electronic Price Tags

Post by bayford »

Did Aldi not install electronic price tags in California two years ago when they installed them in their stores in the eastern half of the country? I have not seen a problem with the ones they're using in those stores falling off very easily. Actually, in the two years they've been in use, the only notable issue I can think of is that they can sometimes slide to a position they aren't supposed to be within the channels of the shelf that hold them. I can only recall two or three times I've seen a broken display.

Edit: Here's the best picture I could find of Aldi's eastern US electronic tags.
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Re: Electronic Price Tags

Post by storewanderer »

ClownLoach wrote: June 9th, 2024, 11:33 pm

I wouldn't describe the staffing situation at Aldi as having anything to do with the fact two dozen or more tags fell off presumably today. They have a variety of issues but missing pricing is never once I've seen until today. I noticed several were already cracked with broken screens although it didn't affect the visibility of the price.
I too have not noticed price labeling issues with Aldi (scan accuracy issues on those clearance "ALDI FINDS" items are another matter entirely).

When a store gets sloppy like these CA Aldi units often are that I've been to, since the employees either don't care or are too few to keep up, customers start to not care. When there are empty boxes all over, messy displays, items on the floor, it seems like customers just make things even worse. They start to let their kids hit things or otherwise mess things up. They hit things with their cart and don't notice or care. Maybe they don't even realize they are hitting the labels with their cart. I also wonder if spills, dust, or other cleanliness issues are adversely impacting the adhesion of these labels to the shelving and that is causing them to fall off.

The cracked screens should be replaced immediately when store employees notice them.

In the relatively few stores I've seen over the years with electronic shelf labeling including Kroger and Albertsons units close to two decades ago at this point, I never saw any fallen on the floor. This seems to be a unique to Aldi issue. But I could defintiely see it being a problem at Wal Mart too but maybe they will test and get a solution to prevent it from happening before the widescale roll out. I do think Wal Mart will get this right if anyone can.
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Re: Electronic Price Tags

Post by ClownLoach »

storewanderer wrote: June 10th, 2024, 1:06 am
ClownLoach wrote: June 9th, 2024, 11:33 pm

I wouldn't describe the staffing situation at Aldi as having anything to do with the fact two dozen or more tags fell off presumably today. They have a variety of issues but missing pricing is never once I've seen until today. I noticed several were already cracked with broken screens although it didn't affect the visibility of the price.
I too have not noticed price labeling issues with Aldi (scan accuracy issues on those clearance "ALDI FINDS" items are another matter entirely).

When a store gets sloppy like these CA Aldi units often are that I've been to, since the employees either don't care or are too few to keep up, customers start to not care. When there are empty boxes all over, messy displays, items on the floor, it seems like customers just make things even worse. They start to let their kids hit things or otherwise mess things up. They hit things with their cart and don't notice or care. Maybe they don't even realize they are hitting the labels with their cart. I also wonder if spills, dust, or other cleanliness issues are adversely impacting the adhesion of these labels to the shelving and that is causing them to fall off.

The cracked screens should be replaced immediately when store employees notice them.

In the relatively few stores I've seen over the years with electronic shelf labeling including Kroger and Albertsons units close to two decades ago at this point, I never saw any fallen on the floor. This seems to be a unique to Aldi issue. But I could defintiely see it being a problem at Wal Mart too but maybe they will test and get a solution to prevent it from happening before the widescale roll out. I do think Wal Mart will get this right if anyone can.
I'm realizing that this store specifically opened with different electronic tags and switched to these ones recently. They had larger ones that remind me of Kohls, and they posted paper tags for sales and the weird seasonal junk aisle. The picture you show was flat on the shelf, but the channels being used are angled upward to improve visibility. As far as conditions, only one time has this particular store been anything less than immaculate (I think I mentioned that on another thread). They seem to be able to handle the store condition, but the tags throw them for a loop. There is definitely a wide range of conditions at Aldi which reminds me of what we saw at Walmart in the late 2010s until about 2022, and then as we know they locked down their standards, addressed turnover with wage investment, and drastically improved the store conditions. They could fix this quickly but I think they're going to focus on adding more stores until they're happy with the market saturation in SoCal then lock down standards and address the issue.

But to be clear, the Aldi tags are the exact same ones that fall down all over Best Buy, go offline all the time, etc. I maintain they're a disaster at Best Buy, and they seem to be a disaster at Aldi. Best Buy as far as I can tell was the earliest adopter. Lowe's is also using these in specific areas of the store with mixed results. The very large tags (again Kohls style) seem to be fine in appliances. The smaller tags are being used in lumber, some building materials like drywall and other commodities that change price daily, and electronics like Home automation. All those smaller tags are problematic and go missing, get broken, etc. except for that Home automation display as it is heavily recessed from the aisle.

The issue is that these chains eliminate their price integrity coordinators or whatever other title and cut the labor when these units are installed because they expect maintenance to be zero. Instead they wind up with more missing tags, offline units, fallen off etc. And no longer have the staff or labor to fix them.
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Re: Electronic Price Tags

Post by veteran+ »

Observations:

1. These tags should be left justified to maintain set integrity

2. They should have adhesive on the back to prevent movement (easily removed for price changes)

3. I rarely see tags on the floor but sometimes see the "skirt" part torn off and on the floor
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Re: Electronic Price Tags

Post by ClownLoach »

veteran+ wrote: June 10th, 2024, 9:18 am Observations:

1. These tags should be left justified to maintain set integrity

2. They should have adhesive on the back to prevent movement (easily removed for price changes)
And these are where the problems lie. It is not always possible due to shelf or rack shape or type to left align these units. I see them all over the place and that creates all kinds of pricing confusion. As far as adhesive goes, they seem to need very strong and heavy adhesive due to the weight of the tag. But at Aldi that means they stick out so far the carts are hitting the tags and breaking the screens. And of course this is the type of adhesive that when removed does need to be scraped off the tag and the shelf, then replaced. It is a clear, "gummy" feeling adhesive. So whatever labor is saved on price changes is lost when the aisle has to be reset. That leads to employees cutting corners and not necessarily moving the tags so they're even further from being left justified.

I recall seeing where Kroger was testing a full shelf strip screen, and I think that is the ultimate solution.
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Re: Electronic Price Tags

Post by storewanderer »

I was looking more into Holiday/Sav-Mor and it does not appear they have deployed these in even close to all of their stores as I previously said. They seem to only have them in a small number of stores.

One of the stores with them is in Meyers, CA- this is a very small store. Holiday has a number of ~10k square foot stores (Penn Valley, Meadow Vista, Redding-Hartnell which is about to get replaced) so it is obviously pretty cheap to do this in such small stores.

Now I am questioning what exactly the status of these tags is with Holiday/Sav-Mor. Back in March they converted the Magalia Sav Mor (which was a Holiday until 2013) back to Holiday (never seen them do this before- suspect it has something to do with the closure of the Paradise Holiday) and remodeled the store. They did NOT deploy these electronic shelf tags there in that store. This is maybe a 30k square foot store.
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Re: Electronic Price Tags

Post by Alpha8472 »

Walmart apparently does not use glue. There are very secure plastic channels that hold the tag. So it slides into the channel and is very secure. You would need to slide them out the entire length of the channel to remove them on some rows.
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Re: Electronic Price Tags

Post by storewanderer »

I thought the Holiday tags were magnetic. I'll have to look more closely.

The store in Meyers has baker's rack shelving, not traditional shelves, but as I recall the tags were attached to long plastic strips.

The other store I saw it was Quincy which is Sav-Mor and that has a combination of pallet rack shelving and traditional shelving. This is maybe a 20k square foot store. Sav-Mor is intended to be limited SKU but in my opinion this particular store has a very good assortment.

They have these tags deployed everywhere - produce, frozen, dairy, etc.
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