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Raley’s reins in shrinkage from expired products

West Coast grocer rolls out date check system to all stores

Raley’s expects a sizable reduction in product shrinkage with the chainwide deployment of expiration date management software.

The West Coast supermarket chain has implemented Date Check Pro from Pinpoint Software Inc. following a successful pilot of the solution in the Sacramento, Calif., area division last spring.

Raley’s said it adopted the system after determining that a technology-based solution supporting inventory management would aid ongoing efforts to provide customers with the freshest and highest-quality products. Previously, the West Sacramento-based retailer took a more operational approach to flag out-of-code items by bolstering team member training and auditing processes to best manage disposal of expiring products.

Date Check Pro provides real-time updates and proactive notifications on close-dated inventory, establishing more consistency and accountability versus traditional rotation and spot-checking methods, in which out-of-date items can be missed by human error, according to Raley’s. In turn, the grocery chain said it’s able to ensure that it’s offering shoppers the freshest products and recoup savings on what would have been expired shrink.

“Date Check Pro is not only a great partner in operations, but also a trusted consultant on our existing markdown and expired item loss-prevention strategies,” Matt Hilbrink, director of asset protection at Raley’s, said in a statement.

In the 18-store pilot of the system, Raley’s said it saw a 15% reduction in known expired shrink. The company noted that it also realized other benefits, including a better classification of shrink as an expired loss instead of an unknown loss, standardized methodologies for weekly management of category/SKU-specific inventory, and greater visibility and accountability in store-level execution.


Date Check Pro's dashboard shows shrink savings and real-time ROI from identification of expiring products. (Image from Pinpoint Software)

By identifying expiring items more quickly, Date Check Pro prevents customers from finding these products in the store and positions retailers to mark down near-expiring items for sale, putting 50% to 72% of a potential loss from shrink back on the bottom line, Madison, Wis.-based Pinpoint Software said on its website. The system also saves store associates hours spent performing spot-checks and enables retailers to use data to determine which items should be ordered less, have fewer facings or be discontinued.

“They are genuine advocates for our business and, in addition to their software, they provide us with new and interesting ways that we can provide our customers with an exceptional experience,” according to Raley’s Hilbrink.

Overall, Raley’s operates 129 stores in California and Nevada under the Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods, Food Source and Market 5-ONE-5 banners.

Other food retailers using Date Check Pro include Metcalfe’s Markets, Skogen’s Festival Foods, Fresh Madison Market, Trigs and Fox Bros. Piggly Wiggly.

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