Your Co-op boosts its sustainability efforts, implementing an AI-powered Prompted Markdown feature from Retail Insight


Midcounties Co-operative will further food waste reduction efforts across its Your Co-op operations, extending its partnership with Retail Insight, the provider of store operations execution software.

Founded in 1884, Your Co-op is a family of businesses operated by the Midcounties Co-operative, one of the largest UK co-operatives made up of 700,000 members.  Its businesses include Your Co-op Food, Travel, Childcare, Energy, Broadband and Mobile, as well as Post Office branches and the retailer now runs more than 230 food stores across the West Midlands, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

As a co-operative, sustainability is a central pillar of Your Co-op’s business and it is dedicated to minimising environmental impact, as evidenced in its waste reduction initiatives and achievements.  With research estimating UK retailers waste £2.4billion worth of food every year, and with food waste globally creating a carbon footprint equivalent to 3.3billion tonnes of CO2, Your Co-op partnered with Retail Insight to tackle food waste, implementing its cloud-based software solution, WasteInsight, in 2019.

Powered by cognitive technology, WasteInsight puts retailers in control of food waste through data-led, actionable insights that support businesses’ entire waste journeys.  Enabling dynamic markdowns, it also addresses expiration management, offers more efficient donations to charities, and drives improved forecasting accuracy.  This allows retailers to sell more while wasting less.  By applying dynamic markdowns, Your Co-op optimised pricing for near-expiry goods to maximise sell-through, protect margins and significantly minimise food waste, contributing to notable reductions in CO2 emissions.

Having already successfully leveraged WasteInsight to reduce controllable food waste across its operations, as Your Co-op looks for further waste reduction targets, it will now roll out Prompted Markdown, one of the latest features within the WasteInsight solution.  

Prompted Markdown uses AI to automatically identify products nearing expiry, alerting staff members and pinpointing products where timely action is needed.  Streamlining the markdown process and stock exit procedures, Prompted Markdown eliminates the need for time-consuming manual checks, improving in-store teams’ productivity and freeing them to serve customers.

Jordan Clement, Head of Supply Chain at Midcounties Co-op, commented: “As a Co-operative, sustainability is at the heart of what we do.  Working with Retail Insight, we're excited to be innovative around waste reduction by exploring new opportunities in technology.  We believe this development will not only help us reduce the amount of food going to landfill, but will also give our colleagues more time to do the things they would rather be doing; spending time engaging with and serving our customers and members.”

Jessica Westwell, Client Manager at Retail Insight, commented: "We are delighted to be partnering with Your Co-op on our Prompted Markdown solution to improve expiration date management processes and to gain labour efficiencies and process compliance.  This is an exciting new stage for them and continues to build on the benefits already seen from our Dynamic Markdown solution.”

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