Electronic Labels Cut Labor Costs for Independent

Bonnie Villastrigo, owner of the Terrebonne Thriftway, a one-store independent here, estimates that electronic shelf labels (ESLs) save her about 20 to 24 hours per week in labor that was being spent printing and hanging paper shelf tags, in addition to savings in paper, plastic, clips and ink.

TERREBONNE, Ore. — Bonnie Villastrigo, owner of the Terrebonne Thriftway, a one-store independent here, estimates that electronic shelf labels (ESLs) save her about 20 to 24 hours per week in labor that was being spent printing and hanging paper shelf tags, in addition to savings in paper, plastic, clips and ink.

She installed the ESLs — from Pricer, Stockholm, Sweden — in all departments of her 10,000-square-foot store apart from deli, meat and produce in late 2008 at a cost of $124,000.

The store makes between 500 and 1,000 regular price changes every Friday, between 200 and 300 promotional price changes on Wednesday, and between 500 and 1,000 temporary price reductions on Monday.

Villastrigo acknowledged that she hasn’t done a close calculation of the payback period for the investment in ESLs. “I do what I think is going to work in the long run and I think this is going to,” she said. “We have an efficient store and this has made it even better.”

While speaking with SN, she estimated that the payback period for labor savings alone is six or seven years, possibly less.

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