Kalahari SPAR and TOPS in Upington has been using digital price tags from NEC XON Retail since November 2021 to eliminate price discrepancies, manage prices, stock, inventories, and improve customer experiences.
“I don’t know why I waited so long to do it,” says Monique Germishuys, owner of SPAR and TOPS in Upington. “It costs a lot but it’s most definitely worth it. It protects your GP, the advantages are definitely financial and time savings. I should have done it 10 years ago when I had my first SPAR.”
Major challenges that retailers like Monique face are updating prices daily, managing promotion prices, ensuring stock availability on shelves, that labels are always visible to customers, and that warblers call attention to promotions.
“Even my merchandisers love the system,” she says. The labels flash when there are fewer than six items on the shelf, alerting merchandisers to retrieve more from the stock room and place orders for additional inventory.
“The prices are updated automatically from the DC (distribution centre),” she says. “It saves a huge amount of time for the merchandisers, it ensures that the prices are always correct, and that the prices are always on the shelf so the customer can see it.”
In the past, merchandisers would report to Monqiue’s GRV controllers every morning. They would get a list of prices to change. They would return to their allotted aisle, fetch the old prices, return them to the GRV office, sign for the new price labels, which they would then be responsible for attaching to the shelves.
“It was the only way to have a chain of responsibility,” she says. “But there are always challenges. Prices get lost, labels fall off the shelves, sometimes people print the wrong price or attach the wrong label to the shelf.” The end result is that the customers challenge prices when they get to the till.
“Now, it’s like magic. You know it’s done, and you know the prices are right.”
Her store offers 13,000 to 14,000 products. She has digital price tags throughout the SPAR and TOPS stores, including the fruit and veg, bakery, fridges and freezers.
She adds that the installation surprised her.
“The NEC XON team are superstars,” she says. “They were here at 6am, when our bakery opens, and they left after 8pm in the evenings when the store closes. There were no interruptions for our clients. They worked clean and tidy. I couldn’t believe it was possible for them to install while we traded.”
Customers love the system as much as Monique.
“They even went on Facebook to talk about it,” she says. “It was the talk of the town. We’ve since had a supplier make inquiries about using it themselves, Game is interested, and Jan from SPAR in Kakemas is about to install it too.”
“We haven’t had a single client complain about a price discrepancy since we installed the price tags. It always scans correctly at the till and it helps customers feel comfortable that they’re paying the same prices here set by the DC.”
“The store also looks cleaner, neater, and tidier now,” she says. “There’s no loose paper labels, or labels that have fallen onto the floor. The whole package is magnificent. Clients love that they can see the promotion items, the red promo warbler and the flashing light. I feel comfortable recommending the system to any retailer. It’s a lot of money but, with good systems and controls in place, you will get it back. It’s an asset for the store and a good investment.”