WestRock and T+ink launched the first-ever merchandising display solution to incorporate printed electronic sensors in smart shelves and smart pegs. Collaborating with Intel®, a world leader in computing innovation, the companies will incorporate intelligent end-point fixtures into merchandising display solutions that give retailers, brands and distributors detailed, real-time information about on-shelf product availability. WestRock, one of the world’s largest and most innovative merchandising display manufacturers, and T+ink, a leader in printed electronics, will be the first to integrate these IoT smart technologies into retail display offerings.

WestRock, T+ink and Intel will feature this innovative new retail system at the National Retail Federation’s “BIG Show” at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City from January 17-19, 2016. WestRock and T+ink’s product specialists will be in the Intel booth (Booth 2543) to demonstrate T+ink’s Smart Shelf and Smart Peg technology. Limited trials of the solution will be available in early summer, with general availability anticipated in late 2016.

“WestRock is once again at the forefront of retail display systems integration, now working with one of the largest and most successful computing technology companies in the world, alongside a market leader in conductive ink technologies,” said Craig Gunckel, executive vice president, Merchandising Displays and Folding Carton, WestRock. “We are now able to offer our customers a display solution that incorporates low-cost technology for inventory tracking, making it possible to better serve consumers shopping for products from cleaning supplies to beverages and snacks.”

The new display solution uses T+ink’s patented technologies to enable retailers and brands to access real-time inventory data. This real-time visibility helps measure sales velocity, identify low and out-of-stock conditions, and reduce shrinkage. Additionally, the three companies will be demonstrating dynamic pricing through electronic shelf labels, which make it possible for merchandisers to price products based on inventory levels, velocity and competitive promotions.

“This is one of the most powerful IoT solutions invented for retail, and one of the first solutions that provides inventory visibility at a shelf level and senses customer interactions with individual products,” said Wayne Nemeth, chief operating officer, T+ink. “The benefits are significant, including inventory optimization, inventory loss prevention, and the capture of valuable information about consumer behavior.”

The interactions coming from the Smart Shelf and Smart Peg are being processed through Intel’s powerful and scalable Intel® Quark™ processors for IoT. The Intel Quark SoC X1000 is Intel’s lowest-power, secure SoC (System on a Chip), designed to bring intelligence to the network edge and reduce development costs for securely managed IoT endpoint devices. Integrating T+ink’s conductive ink technology, which sits on WestRock’s shelves and pegs, and the Intel Quark processor, Smart Retail Systems connects to the cloud through Intel-powered gateways, enabling store systems and personnel to receive real-time alerts on their phones and tablets.

“The demonstration of these smart technologies powered by Intel processors is another example of breakthrough innovation in the retail industry,” said Joe Jensen, vice president, Intel Retail Solutions Division, Intel. “The IoT is beginning to take off in the retail space and will have a direct impact on retail profitability by improving the customer experience through better availability of in-store inventory and reduced shrinkage.”

“The retail industry globally has a $1.3 trillion inventory distortion challenge,” said Jeff Roster, IHL Group. “Whether it’s missed opportunities as a result of being out of stock, or bottom line erosion due to shrinkage, even a small percentage of improvement helps retailers return greater value to their customers and shareholders. This is one of the first examples we’ve seen showing real-time transparency of inventory availability and movement at the shelf and peg level, and we’re looking forward to the reaction of retailers and their supply chains to this concept.”

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