INDIANAPOLIS -- Marsh Supermarkets here will provide the first U.S. store installation of solar-powered electronic shelf labels when it launches a pilot in early September.
The technology is currently being tested in a corporate laboratory environment, and software modifications are ongoing, according to a source at Marsh who requested anonymity.
The pilot site, which has been selected but not disclosed, will be equipped with 14,000 labels that receive pricing data from a central computer via infrared communications. Merchandising messages can also be conveyed through the tags that show information on a liquid crystal display.
Marsh intends to explore the merchandising capabilities of the tags, the source added. The technology was developed by Pricer, Norwalk, Conn., and Marsh's test will represent the vendor's first U.S. supermarket installation.
The system was to have gone online in another chain last year -- K.V. Mart, Carson, Calif. -- but the project was postponed while that retailer focused on new store openings and a local area network project.
Prior to committing to test the technology, a contingent of Marsh executives traveled to Sweden, where Pricer's parent company is based, to tour retail installations there. Executives also visited a Sears store in Chicago which is testing the technology on a limited basis.