IMAGES FOR THE SHELF EDGE

LONDON, Ky. -- Circulars and ads are very visual media, depicting clear pictures of products being promoted. By contrast, shelf labels tend to be text-based, filled with sometimes-incomprehensible product abbreviations.ar, the QuickSet image strips, from Gladson Interactive, are being used by 70 Laurel-supplied stores, up from 10 when the program started.Bill Baker, vice president of information systems

LONDON, Ky. -- Circulars and ads are very visual media, depicting clear pictures of products being promoted. By contrast, shelf labels tend to be text-based, filled with sometimes-incomprehensible product abbreviations.

ar, the QuickSet image strips, from Gladson Interactive, are being used by 70 Laurel-supplied stores, up from 10 when the program started.

Bill Baker, vice president of information systems for Laurel, said he expects many more stores to request the tags. These tags cost $8 per week more than standard tags, the price of which he did not disclose. "Everyone who sees [the image tags] wants them," he said.

The image tags serve two primary purposes, noted Baker. First, they make it easier for employees to recognize where a product should go on the shelf, improving speed and accuracy. "There's no doubt because [employees] are looking at a picture of the product" rather than a description, said Baker. The image labels also make it easier for a shopper to identify a product's price.

Gladson's image database, including private-label products, and its shelf-strip application reside at Laurel's headquarters. At its headquarters, a few hundred tags with images are produced every week reflecting price changes and promotions, said Baker. Two high-resolution Xerox printers produce the strips, which are shipped to stores. The database is replenished with new product images sent on CD every two weeks. Currently, Laurel does not use the same images in its circulars, he noted.

Besides Laurel, Gladson supplies image shelf labels to Roundy's and BP and Shell stations in the convenience industry, among others. Gladson's database includes images of 600,000 stockkeeping units, said Dave King, assistant director, image merchandising solutions, Gladson.