Walmart Canada to deploy shelf cameras to improve product availability

Date : 19 November 2020

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

Walmart Canada is expanding is partnership with San-Francisco based Focal Systems for the deployment of shelf-edge cameras.

Improving product availability

Building on a pilot programme, Walmart Canada will expand Focal Systems’ out-of-stock solution to additional stores next year. This forms part of a $3.5bn investment programme announced earlier this year. Focal’s cameras automatically detect out-of-stocks, low inventory and planogram compliance. The technology will help Walmart Canada to improve on-shelf availability, which should help support sales growth, and drive operational efficiencies.

Source: Focal Systems Inc.

Lab stores

Retailers are increasingly looking to new technologies to improve in-store efficiencies. In the US, Walmart’s lab stores in Long Island and Dallas (Sam’s Club) have been equipped with up to 1,000 overhead cameras to help improve on-shelf availability. Combined with AI, the systems can help predict out-of-stocks, enabling store teams to prioritise replenishment.

Store availability supporting online sales

With Walmart Canada using a store-based picking model for grocery ecommerce, improving in-store availability will also improve the experience for online customers through fewer product substitutions. The retailer recently reported a 177% increase in total ecommerce sales, a significant proportion of which will have been driven by its grocery operation. With the retailer committed to expanding this, it is also testing new fulfillment models, including a dedicated 10,000 sq ft space to pick orders within its latest store opening.

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