July 6, 2021
3 min read

Storewise CEO talks grocery store trends, game-changing technology for independent grocers

Leslie Collins
Staff Writer, Kansas City Business Journal
Storewise CEO talks grocery store trends, game-changing technology for independent grocers

Overland Park-based Storewise has been focused on rolling out “game-changer” technology for independent grocery stores.

Storewise, formerly known as Retail Software Solutions Group, recently released new software offerings that go beyond helping grocers manage temporary price reductions for products. Now its technology also includes price analysis and risk reduction, such as analyzing point-of-sale transactions for suspicious and potentially fraudulent activity.

“We make it uber easy for loss prevention analysts to look at the dashboard, dig deep on reports and identify that non-malicious and malicious behavior that could be driving losses,” Storewise CEO Christopher Greco told the Kansas City Business Journal.

Christopher Greco is CEO at Overland Park-based Storewise. Storewise has a strategic partnership with Associated Wholesale Grocers, the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independent grocers. In October, Storewise announced the addition of a highly visible local independent grocer as a client, Cosentino’s Food Stores, which has more than 30 stores operating under the SunFresh Markets, Apple Markets, Price Chopper and Cosentino’s Markets brands.

In addition to reports, Storewise’s dashboard can create notifications when it detects transaction inconsistencies. It also tracks aspects such as how often cashiers are using hand scans, keying in price overrides, refunds and voided transactions and how much those transactions are worth.  

Storewise’s ability to automate manual tasks is another perk as grocers struggle to find and hire employees. One owner told Greco that the unemployment stimulus has created challenges, and another store was advertising $13 to $15 an hour for cashiers and stockers.

“They’re struggling to fill $15 an hour jobs, and that’s garnering a lot of meetings for us,” Greco said. “When my sales team calls, labor is referenced. …  If I can make their labor better – remove them from the back office of working on spreadsheets, figuring out pricing and investigating potential losses – and move them out onto the floor in front of customers, that’s a huge win.”

In addition, Storewise’s price analysis technology can help grocers make smarter buying decisions, which is especially vital with rising food costs, Greco said. The software can help grocers adjust store prices to maximize profits, and it will send alerts when a product goes on sale at the warehouse. Ultimately, its software can help grocers achieve a 1% to 2% margin increase, which may not sound like much to the average consumer, he said. But for grocers with multiple locations, it can translate to millions of dollars in incremental profit.

While online shopping is on the rise, some grocery categories will continue to attract in-store traffic, such as produce, meat and bakery, he said. Ordering online, for example, can’t replace the interaction at the meat counter, such as seeking advice on how to prepare a meat or asking about what’s coming in next week.

During the pandemic, consumers bought more items in one trip than previously. Grocery stores also experienced higher foot traffic and a “massive transfer of wealth” from the restaurant industry. While the restaurants were closed, grocery stores remained open and provided options, such as a hot buffet.

“2020 was a banner year for them,” Greco said of independent grocers. “They know that as we come out of the pandemic, there’s going to be a soft landing. So the question that’s raised to me is, ‘How do I make that landing as soft as possible?’ … They have to consider technology as a lever now, whereas before, they might not have.”

Original Article from bizjournals.com

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