Asda tackles phantom inventory with new tech

Asda has rolled out new technology to tackle mismatched inventory levels.

The British supermarket chain has struggled with phantom inventory across its expansive store estate, with the company now operating more than 800 UK locations and serving over 18 million customers each week.

The retailer expanded its partnership with Retail Insight for the deployment of the new technology as part of a pilot scheme, with the move helping to remove over 1.6 million units of phantom inventory since its rollout nine months ago.

The technology uses machine learning algorithms and AI to correct inaccurate retailer inventory records and trained a data model for each of Asda's stores as part of the pilot.

The system uses sales and inventory data to detect instances of phantom inventory and then alerts store colleagues to manually validate the stock at the shelf-edge and update the inventory file to help drive total store performance, correcting inventory accuracy, and improving product availability and sales.

Asda plans to deploy the technology across its store network following the success of the pilot.

“The ability to accurately identify phantom inventory across our estate is a huge advantage for our business, and goes a long way in enabling us to deliver a better in-store experience for our shoppers,” said Neil Fairclough, senior director of retail transformation, Asda. “Given the impressive results we received at trial, we were excited to conduct a full roll out of the Inventory Insight solution."

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