Iceland introduces tech to localise product offering

Frozen food retailer Iceland is ramping up its category management strategy in stores with an investment in a new suite of technology.

This month will see the retailer start implementing a range of JDA Software's planning, assortment and planogram solutions, as it looks to offer its customers a product range better matched to local sales patterns.

Iceland is looking to use the technology to produce store-specific planograms and tailored customer assortments, which it hopes will increase sales and margins across its 860+ store estate in the UK and Ireland. Essential Retail understands that the decision to upgrade technology in this area came straight from the top, with Iceland CEO Malcolm Walker looking at ways to drive the business's competitiveness in the grocery market.

Localising product assortment in stores is a process the larger supermarkets in the UK have been undertaking for a number of years.

Neil Hayes, merchandising and format development director at Iceland, commented: "As competition increases, Iceland continues to differentiate itself by recognising and meeting localised consumer preferences better than other retailers."

Iceland and JDA have been working alongside each other for 20 years for various warehousing and space planning projects, but the retailer is currently putting significant investment into its back-end systems and logistics.

The supermarket recently finalised a five-year deal with XPO Logistics that will see its dedicated network aligned with the supply chain company's own shared-user facilities. XPO will manage Iceland's distribution centres in Warrington, Enfield, Livingston and Swindon, with responsibilities including warehousing activities such as product receipt and nationwide store distribution.

All 1,900 workers at the four sites are in the process of moving over to XPO as part of a phased Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment (TUPE) operation.

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JDA Software

XPO Logistics