Source: CJ Lang & Son

CJ Lang & Son has become the first retailer in the world to adopt a new system of cameras to monitor stock levels and improve product availability.

The Newton Eye camera technology scans the shelves to identify low and no stock, as well as misplaced items, which it estimates will save “hundreds of hours” of extra work by store staff.

The 70 new cameras count stock automatically overnight and monitor product positioning during the day, producing accurate availability and stock reports that store managers can easily access.

CJ Lang is the first at global level to adopt this tech in a convenience environment, debuting for the first time at its company-owned Spar Crosshouse store in Kilmarnock.

The cameras in store are provided by Solum ESL, a Korean company providing digital solutions for big retail brands across the US and North America, including Hmart and Gucci. 

Spar Crosshouse, which is already using other tech by Solum including LED strip lighting and electronic shelf-edge labels, would be a “real-life lab” where the functionality of the cameras will be tested, and solutions improved, it said.

The Scottish wholesaler has been picked as Solum’s only UK Innovation Centre.

“It is through a unique combination of skills that we have been picked by Solum to test this,” CJ Lang IT director Graham Murdoch told The Grocer.

“Some of the things we are doing are beyond what others have been able to do yet. We have very good system skills, and we are planning to harness the data from that leverage into the Solum system to be able to measure planogram compliance.”

He added: “If you look at multiple retailers, none have really adopted electronic shelf-edge labels widely in the UK yet. In Europe and Asia you see them regularly, so there is nothing new about them. What’s new is the extended functionality that we are trialling in our stores.”