Grocery retailer Coop Danmark is implementing software from Finnish specialist Relex to integrate sales forecasts, automated replenishment as well as space and shelf planning in an integrated solution, Lebensmittel Zeitung reports. With this move, the company intends to plan assortments and product placements in each banner operation at store level in medium term.
The retailer is currently rolling out the cloud-based Relex `Living Retail Platform’ in stages. As Coop logistics director Henrik Gerdt told Lebensmittel Zeitung, the company already manages about half of its assortment with the new system. Thanks to an improved automated replenishment, service levels towards sales outlets have improved and reached more than 98 percent.
Assortments and shelf placement follow local demand
So far Coop optimises assortments for larger clusters of stores. Going forward, store-specific planning is supposed to better adapt assortments and shelf placement to specific demand. Consumers in rural regions have different needs than those in cities. For example, organic products require more space on the shelves at stores in the capital city. Shelf planning must also consider seasonally varying sales figures of many articles, which may also differ by region.
Head of Logistics Gerdt considers demand-oriented shelf planning to be just as important as store-specific listings. The complexity involved is placing ever greater demands on IT systems. He mentions a decisive advantage of the Relex solution: employees of the specialist departments can configure the software for their tasks themselves without having to frequently resort to the IT department.
Coop Danmark renews IT landscape
The introduction of integrated shelf planning and automated replenishment is part of a major renewal of Coop Danmark’s IT landscape. Its largest project is the implementation of the merchandise management system SAP Retail in its current S/4 Hana version. This already controls half of the retailer’s assortment. SAP and Relex use the same data. According to Gerdt, connecting the two systems was unproblematic.
No major adjustments to shelf planning were necessary. Relex had acquired the British provider Galleria in 2016, whose solution forms the core of the shelf planning module of the Living Retail Platform. Coop has been using the Galleria software for many years.