The Co-operative Food has completed a transformation of its store replenishment system which it says has increased product availability to 97.5 per cent and reduced stock-holding.
It has invested £12.5m in the SMART (Store Merchandising and Replenishment Transformation) software which has also cut waste.
Mark Hale, supply chain director and CIO for The Co-operative Food, said: “We have undertaken a massive overhaul of our store replenishment system by introducing SMART, which has resulted in a vastly improved process, better discipline and increased availability in our stores.
“Other systems exist that can automatically order stock as it runs low – but no other solution can factor in store layout, promotions, weather, events and changing customer profile to the stock management system.”
Product ranges and orders for more than 2,800 stores around the country are now centrally controlled from the Manchester head office.
Sean Toal, chief operating officer and acting chief executive at The Co-operative Food, said: “Customer focus has been the driving force behind the SMART programme, and it will be our customers who will ultimately benefit the most, through better ranges and better product availability in our entire food store network.”