There has been a surge of interest in electronic shelf edge labels this month with a burst of activity in Europe and the Middle East. French retailer Casino is trialling the technology with NCR in two stores in Lyon, Dutch group Van Eerd is rolling it out to 15 Jumbo stores in the Netherlands and Edeka is extending trials in Germany. Dutch discounter Hoogvliet has installed ESL in 40 stores, and Carrefour is also understood to be considering trials. One of Saudi Arabia's largest retailers Al-Othaim has also announced plans to install NCR's RealPrice labels across its 30-strong estate, with approximately 20,000 labels per store, making it the first chain in the Middle East to test the technology. Although ESL has been focused on the US and western Europe, retailers across the globe are now beginning to take an interest as prices have come down and technology has improved, said Alberto Camuri, vice-president of NCR's retail solutions division for Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia Pacific. Irish supermarket chain Superquinn is extending ESL to three stores this summer with a view to a rollout across the estate if the trial is a success. UK retailers have so far taken a more cautious approach after dabbling with ESL several years ago. Tesco is restricting itself to a very limited trial in the biscuit aisle of its Irlam store and Safeway refuses to divulge the locations of stores where the technology is being tested. The new breed of labels allows managers to change prices on the shelf automatically from a central computer via radio frequency signals. Price discrepancies at the checkout are eliminated because the wireless digital tags are linked to the same computer file used by a store's EPoS system. Other data such as stock levels or the number of facings a product should have to adhere to planograms can also be beamed to the labels, helping staff display products correctly. {{NEWS }}