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Supermarket Queue Management

Foodland leaves a good impression on its customers

The people counters and checkout management sensors provide a “comprehensive view of shopper traffic,” said Robert Murphy, CIO of Foodland, Hawaii’s largest locally owned grocery chain. Together, the footfall analytics and other data combine to reveal aspects of operations which offer the opportunity for improving a store.

And being able to ‘see’ how to direct staff to where and when they are needed - whether that’s servicing customers on the floor or keeping shelves stocked – means Foodland customers can be given an outstanding shopping experience.

Business Issue

Through responsiveness, innovation and service, Foodland strives to deliver outstanding shopping experiences for its customers.

Foodland recognized they wanted to provide an improved and more consistent service to their customers at checkout, but also felt that there were opportunities to potentially save checkout labor at certain times of the day and days of the week.


Foodland started with a trial of the Irisys Queue Management system in four stores in summer 2012 and quickly realized that there were both opportunities to improve checkout service and labor scheduling with the system.

As a result they decided to implement all stores with the Irisys system between September 2012 and April 2013.

Foodland’s main ROI driver behind installing the system was enhanced customer service, however the data has enabled efficiencies in scheduling and a reduction in checkout hours across many of their stores.

Business Benefits

In an interview with Retail TouchPoints in January 2013, Robert Murphy, CIO of Foodland said: 

Foodland is committed to delivering superior customer service that keeps our shoppers coming back.

We know the checkout experience can leave lasting impressions on our customers, particularly if it feels understaffed, time consuming and unorganized.

- Robert Murphy, CIO, Foodland

Together, the people counters and checkout management sensors provide a “comprehensive view of shopper traffic,” Murphy reported, “which empowers store managers to make staff assignments more effectively and prevent wasting resources during slower shopping times.”

When all data are combined, they are instantly converted into footfall analytics, which spotlight areas that can be improved either immediately or over time. For example, Foodland managers can better determine how many staffed registers
will be needed every 15 to 30 minutes.

If our checkout is staffed appropriately - particularly during peak times - we don’t have to call back-up cashiers to the front end. Our employees instead can focus on their core duties, whether that’s servicing customers on the floor or keeping shelves stocked.

We also can minimize the potential for idle time and over-staffing during slower periods throughout the day.

- Robert Murphy, CIO, Foodland

All of these benefits mean one very important thing, Murphy explained: “Our managers and employees can remain engaged in what they’ve been hired to do and are enthusiastic about doing, which will have a direct impact on our customers’ shopping experiences and their perception of our service.”

Irisys technology will help us run our stores more efficiently and ensure that our customers won’t have to wait in long checkout lines

- Robert Murphy, CIO, Foodland

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About the project

Industry sector: Retail, grocery

Geography: USA

Service solution: Intelligent queue management

Project size: 32 stores

About Foodland: Foodland is Hawaii’s largest locally owned grocery chain and is part of the Sullivan Group of Companies. A large element of Foodland’s senior operational management has come from the Smith’s grocery chain in Salt Lake City, Utah which became part of Kroger as a result of the Fred Meyer acquisition in 1998. As such there are still strong ties to Kroger and Foodland contacted Irisys in Spring 2012, following a recommendation from Kroger’s operational management.

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