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S5 Tech: digital labels for supermarkets

Labels are not just the price they show 

S5 Tech: digital labels for supermarkets

Alberto D'Agnano

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A supermarket has, on average nine thousand price labels on its shelves at any moment in time. If you are the lucky owner of a hypermarket, however, you know very well that this number is closer to forty thousand. Assuming that the personnel is proportional to the size of the shopping area, in both cases it would take around one week to change all of them when new prices come out.

Now, if startups are mainly here not only to identify and solve new problems, but also to put an end to relatively old, unresolved ones, S5 Tech is on the right track. Its Ceo, Gabriele Del Sorbo, former H3G manager, tired of feeling the same deja-vu sensation any time he stepped into a supermarket, has already received a ?5mln financing for the production and installation of digital labels in several supermarkets. The device, which costs approximately ?6.5, allows the retailers to pay back the investment in 8 to 14 months, thanks to the savings it helps generate in terms of paper and personnel.

Going one step further, the biggest advantages in the adoption of such a technology come from some subtle uses that can be made of it. First, prices can be adjusted much more frequently in order to react to competitors' strategies or to set new ones. Second, following the recent trend that sees supermarket customers growing hungrier for... information, digital labels can interact with any smartphone and provide details regarding, for example, the nutritional values and the ingredients contained in each product, or anything related to the company that puts it on the market.

Looking for new investors willing to provide additional ?10mln to the project, Del Sorbo aims at entering the US market, where he would target open-minded clients and enlightened retailers, which make it the best field to test future trends before they start affecting Europe. 

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