Metcalfe’s is a Wisconsin-based, fourth-generation, family-owned and operated grocer with three locations. They are known for local and high-quality foods. Many ingredients are sourced from local farms and artisans at the peak of their season. Metcalfe’s Market is home to fresh baked breads & pastries from 25 local bakeries, more than 500 varieties of artisan cheese, and the largest variety of local & organic produce in the area.
One of Metcalfe’s locations is fairly slow-volume, meaning expiring products is an even greater challenge. To manage this shrink, Metcalfe’s employed rotation and spot-checking strategies. However, rotation when stocking was not as consistent as desired, and the spot-checking schedule was more of a reactionary quality control than loss prevention method. Additionally, since the store is slower-volume, there wasn’t always enough labor available to execute the spot-checking schedule.
Metcalfe’s partnered with Date Check Pro to begin proactively tracking and managing expiration dates.
Recognizing the labor shortage at this store, Metcalfe’s opted to utilize Date Check Pro’s full-service program where all weekly date checking activities are managed by a Date Check Pro representative – including rotating and marking down soon-to-expire inventory, removing expired inventory, and entering such data into the Date Check Pro app for Metcalfe’s to view reporting on.
The Date Check Pro completed an initial sweep of the store to remove any expired inventory present on the sales floor and capture expiration date information per SKU within the Date Check Pro app.
Guidelines were set on a per department and sub-department level as to how far in advance products would be checked for rotation and markdown as well as how far in advance of their expiration date they would be removed from the sales floor as quality control. For example, grocery was set to proactive rotation 30 days in advance with items removed as expired a week prior to their actual expiration date, while baby food/formula was rotated 45 days in advance and removed 2-weeks prior. Limited shelf life categories within grocery, specialty cheese, and yogurt were limited to no proactive action; only removal of expired items a day or two prior.
To help ensure items that rotated by the Date Check Pro rep stayed in proper rotation, the rep places red dots on the price rail next to the shelf tag for any items with soon-to-expire inventory. This serves as a visual queue to stockers that rotation when stocking on these specific SKUs is mandatory.
Across grocery, natural food, dairy, and processed meat, Date Check Pro proved effective at selling and recovering 46.41 – 88.95% of expired shrink dollars. The highest dollar savings coming from within grocery, and highest percentage of soon-to-expire inventory sold actually coming from baby food/formula.
Although Date Check Pro required Metcalfe’s to invest additional labor expense in the Date Check Pro representative, they saw a 3:1 return in shrink savings per dollar spent on labor.
This high return on labor investment yielded a 164% ROI in Year 1, and was projected as a 207% ROI for all future years where the initial implementation cost was no longer a factor.
"Date Check Pro works as a partner to help fulfill our promise to always provide the highest quality and freshest products to our customers. I highly recommend their full-service solution to make a meaningful improvement in your stores with an ROI to back it up."