– Josh Douang, Co-Founder and Director at Aisle 24
The client and the context
Results and Benefits
- Ability to update prices remotely
- Optimal cost-benefit
- Time and labour savings
- Clean and modern appearance
- Easy to implement and operate
- Simplified business processes
- Fast response from Danavation’s team
Aisle 24 was founded in 2016 by the brothers Josh and John Douang, and John’s wife, Marie Yong. It evolved from a business they started in 2015—Unattended Markets—which aimed to automate the grocery vending business. Aisle 24 came up as an even bigger and more innovative idea: to be the first cashier-less grocery store in Canada. The first store opened up at the Centennial Place Student Residence, and they have already expanded across the Greater Toronto Area, as well as Ottawa, Waterloo, London, and St. Catharines.
All Aisle 24 stores are unmanaged, with staff only visiting each store between 6 to 10 hours per week to restock shelves and maintain cleanliness. Because of this, it was crucial to have a system in place to update their prices remotely from their headquarters and warehousing.
In 2019, Aisle 24 partnered with Danavation to digitize their pricing. With our system, not only are they able to perform regular price updates, but they also can respond quickly to SKU velocities without having to deploy an employee to the store. When a product is moving slowly, it can be put on sale remotely. In contrast, if a product is moving fast—to the point that it might affect the inventory—the price can be increased to slow down the velocity.
Josh Douang, Co-Founder & Director at Aisle 24
“If your focus is on automation, then this is definitely the way to go.”
When it comes to operations, Josh highlights how our Digital Smart Label™ system helped optimize his workflows: “It just simplified our process by eliminating so many steps that were involved to make a price change, especially the need to coordinate across our purchasing team, operations team, our replenishment staff, and our administrative staff for printing labels. Our process has become very streamlined now — the person who receives the product in the warehouse updates the prices in the file and pushes it out, then informs our merchandising staff who make sure the prices changed.”
The most cost-effective solution
“From a cost perspective, you have to look at it long term — what you’re saving in terms of labour and having to change your prices all the time. Being able to do so remotely is a huge advantage and we’re able to change and update prices any time of the day; that’s not something any retailer can do. For other retailers with multiple locations, trying to coordinate that is definitely a huge process.” – Josh Douang, Co-Founder and Director at Aisle 24
*The return on investment is calculated by adding the total annual costs associated with updating pricing manually and subtracting the total investment for the Digital Smart Label™ solution. The total annual costs include the cost of the paper label and labour costs associated with updating paper labels on the shelf.