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Itasca Inventory Intelligence enables retailers to automate historically manual processes around ordering, inventory forecasting and DSD receiving.

Regional grocery chains automate inventory processes with Itasca Retail

W. Lee Flowers, HAC Inc. turn to Computer Generated Ordering and DSD Receiving Systems

W. Lee Flowers, a group of 63 supermarkets operated by Alex Lee, will install Itasca Retail’s Magic Computer Generated Ordering and DSD Receiving systems chainwide, the companies announced recently.

Itasca’s partnership with W. Lee Flowers, which owns and operates IGA and KJ’s Market grocery stores in North and South Carolina and Georgia, follows its deal in January with HAC Inc., an Oklahoma-based retailer operating 80 stores under the Homeland, United, Cash Saver, Food World and Piggly Wiggly banners, with locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Georgia.

Itasca Inventory Intelligence enables retailers to automate historically manual processes around ordering, inventory forecasting and DSD receiving, with increased speed and accuracy, to ensure they continue to provide exceptional shopping experiences and significantly reduce waste and labor. The system combines sophisticated algorithms and machine learning along with deep understanding of the North American grocery replenishment process to generate impressive gains in sales and productivity, while concurrently reducing inventory, shrink, product-handling and vendor credits.

“Itasca Retail and its inventory management capabilities helped us maintain superior in-stock conditions during my time at Lowes Foods,” said Chris Van Parys, president of W. Lee Flowers, based in Scranton, S.C. “I am very excited to implement the systems in our KJ’s and IGA banners and look forward to the impact they will have on our operations and to our guest experience.” Van Parys served as senior vice president of sales and operations at Lowes Foods prior to being named president of W. Lee Flowers.

“Guest satisfaction is our mission,” he added. “With the challenges our industry faces now, having automated, real-time tools will make us a better operator for the communities we serve.”

Jeff Kennedy, president of West Des Moines, Iowa-based Itasca Retail, said, “Alex Lee has seen tremendous benefit from our Inventory Intelligence solution, and we are pleased to see that W. Lee Flowers has chosen to follow Lowes Foods on a similar journey. We are confident they’ll see results beyond their expectations, and we are looking forward to starting the installation as the new year begins.”

At HAC, the employee-owned regional grocer is installing Computer Generated Ordering across its multiple banners to ensure superior service quality, item availability, and ability to anticipate and react to change quickly.

“Plain and simple, Itasca’s Inventory Intelligence Platform will allow us to better serve our customers,” said Chris Smith, VP of IT at HAC. “We look forward to leveraging Itasca Magic to strategically improve our inventory management practices which will have a positive impact on the organization.”

He added, “With the labor challenges the industry faces now, having a tool that can take that workload on will make us a better operator.”

Itasca Retail is a provider of inventory intelligence technology that enables grocers to better compete in the modern retail economy. Once the domain of industry giants, openly available inventory intelligence levels the playing field for grocers of all sizes. Itasca’s other clients include Wegmans, PriceChopper/Market32, Tops Markets, The Fresh Market, Raley’s, Weis Markets, Lunds & Byerlys, Cardenas Markets and Brookshire Brothers.

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