August 15, 2002, 12:00 AM

Food Lion adopts the web to execute store merchandising plans

Food Lion will use Information Resources Inc.’s Apollo Web Viewer to communicate shelf stocking and product display information to 1,200 stores. It expects the web to make communicating the plans faster and simpler than current methods.

Salisbury, NC-based Food Lion LLC has adopted a web-based system to streamline merchandising programs across stores. Food Lion will use Chicago-based Information Resources Inc.’s Apollo Web Viewer to communicate shelf stocking and product display information to 1,200 stores.

"With over 75% of products being sold from the shelf, we work hard to create merchandising plans that provide our shoppers with a selection that reflects their needs," said Mike Taschke, Food Lion`s director of store merchandising. "However, our detailed analysis only pays off if we`re able to get the planograms executed in each store easily and in a timely manner. With IRI`s Apollo Web solution, we`re able to make decisions more rapidly, then immediately turn those decisions into action at the store level. The Apollo solution provides a simple distribution vehicle for planning information that ultimately helps each location maximize their store`s performance through improved merchandising capabilities."

Food Lion wanted to move away from traditional printed planning materials and push planograms and other merchandising documentation electronically to stores. It wanted to avoid moving big files and highly technical processes, the company says. It says that IRI’s Apollo Web Viewer delivers highly detailed, up-to-date planning materials and diagrams requiring only a web browser, which all stores are equipped with already.

“The implementation of Apollo Viewer has helped Food Lion increase sales and decrease costs by shortening new product introduction cycles and decreasing out-of-stocks, while simultaneously improving usability and compliance at the store level,” the company says.

"IRI listened to our concerns and created a web-based solution that seamlessly integrated with our Food Lion intranet site and many of the processes already in place at our stores," said Lesley Tait, Food Lion web team manager. "Testing and acceptance at the store level has been extremely successful and we are impressed with the technology and implementation."

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