Woolworths, a major supermarket chain, has initiated a trial of advanced camera technology in one of their stores in New South Wales, Australia. The purpose of this trial is to enhance “product availability” for customers. In the Wetherill Park store, located in western Sydney, over 500 cameras have been strategically positioned on nearly every shelf. These cameras will capture images every hour to assess the adequacy of stock levels.
The supermarket giant anticipates that this innovative solution could alleviate the labor-intensive and monotonous tasks currently performed by workers, such as manual inventory management, receiving, and restocking. A Woolworths spokesperson informed Yahoo News Australia that customers at the Wetherill Park store will observe multiple new mini cameras in each aisle and on every shelf. These cameras will be present in sections containing produce, freezer items, and chilled products.
The primary aim of implementing these cameras is to enhance product availability throughout the day for all customers, rather than just at specific intervals. Unlike typical security cameras found in stores, Woolworths has explicitly stated that these new mini cameras will not serve surveillance purposes.
In the event that a customer inadvertently appears in the routine image capturing process, their image will be promptly deleted. This enables supermarket staff to assess the stock levels on shelves and determine which products require replenishment.
To inform customers about the trial, signs have been prominently displayed at the entrance and throughout the Wetherill Park store. Woolworths has expressed their intention to gather feedback from both customers and team members at the Wetherill Park store over the following months, in order to assess the next steps for this technology.