UK supermarkets are moving towards a new automated pricing method that may eliminate the use of yellow stickers on discounted items.
An artificial intelligence (AI) system that automatically reduces prices in the run-up to a product’s sell-by date has been introduced across Europe. UK supermarkets have begun using similar products, such as electronic shelf labels (ESLs).
Selected Aldi, Lidl, and M&S stores already use ESLs in the UK, while other supermarket chains, including Asda, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s, have also trialled them in recent years.
Unlike yellow stickers, which need to be manually placed on items by supermarket staff, electronic tags would automatically reduce the price of items as they come up to their use-by dates. This means that the lower price is in front of customers sooner.
The Retail Champion founder, Clare Bailey, stated that the move to digital labelling could help reduce labour, production costs, and food waste. She also believes it should be rolled out in supermarkets across the UK “sooner rather than later.”
According to Ms Bailey, the technology could benefit consumers as it could be used to pass on price decreases more quickly. She added: “As long as it is used for the benefit of the customer, or where a genuine price increase has to be made, then that’s pretty good use for the technology.”