ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The 99-store Schnuck Markets here said it anticipates all of its stores will be using scan-based trading technology within the next several months.
"There are 77 stores involved now. All stores will have this technology by late spring" said Bob Drury, senior vice president, management information systems at Schnuck. The chain operates just over 90 stores in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.
Schnuck tested the SBT in five stores during a pilot program that lasted from May, 1999 to March of last year.
With SBT, direct store delivery suppliers maintain ownership of their inventory until it actually moves across the point of sale. Officials at Schnuck said they are more than pleased with the results they have achieved with SBT so far.
"In a phrase, it has proven to be a real winner for our customers," Drury said. "The stores that have been implemented on SBT are showing positive sales growth due to improved in-stock positions.
"Given this season's harsh winter weather, our SBT suppliers are able to replenish our shelves when needed by bringing in product through the front door of our stores after normal receiving hours," Drury added.
Drury said the SBT program has helped in other areas, as well.
"Shrink continues to be very low with all SBT suppliers," Drury said.
"Eliminating backdoor check-ins has proven to be a real time-saver for both sides, too," Drury added. "Even though some suppliers still use the receiving dock to aid in off loading product, paperwork doesn't get in the way of getting product quickly to the shelves."
According to a study released last year by the Grocery Manufacturers of America, in pilot programs, SBT resulted in sales growth of 4% over control stores with shrink remaining at acceptable levels.
The report also said out-of-stocks were reduced and retailers and suppliers saved time through the elimination of backdoor check-ins.
Moreover, SBT was supposed to provide participants with a common view for inventory and scanner delivery data, while giving suppliers better information on product movement at the store level.
Schnuck is one of the first retailers to use the SBT technology. Andronico's Market, Albany, Calif., has also piloted the new technology in its stores.
After Schnuck piloted the SBT program, Craig Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "This is a win-win-win situation. Our customers win because of improved in-stock; our suppliers win through reduced operating costs and improved sales. And, we win through reduced operating costs, reduced investment and improved sales."
Suppliers who participate in the Schnuck SBT program include: Anheuser-Busch; Coors Brewing Co.; Dean Foods Co.; Dreyer's; Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Co.; Earthgrains; Frito-Lay; Kraft Pizza Co.; Miller Brewing Co.; Nabisco Biscuit Co.; Pepsi-Cola Co.; and Tony's Pizza Co.