Retail Solutions - Safeway and Waitrose invest in label printing

Grocery retailers Safeway and Waitrose have both made big investments in label-printing hardware from Paxar.

Waitrose has spent a maximum of£330,000 on the hardware, while Safeway has invested up to£1.2 million.

Safeway has ordered 2,000 Paxar 9460 printers for in-store price marking throughout its estate. The printers have a cordless connection to Symbol hand-held scanning and data devices, which was a major factor in the retailer's decision to purchase the printer units, as was their ruggedised design.

Waitrose has invested in 200 Monarch Pathfinder Ultra scanner/printers, which are used to make markdown goods easier to check out. The printer is able to produce an acetate-coated price label, over which a markdown price label can be fixed if needed.

At the checkout the label is easily removed so the product can be scanned. Once removed, the labels cannot be re-used on other products, therefore reducing the potential for fraud.

Waitrose purchasing manager Heather Tull said: 'Presentation is very important to Waitrose and the new labels are a neat solution. Our checkout staff find the solution easy to operate and the in-built security of the label not being able to be re-applied is a real cost-saving bonus.'

Though price label printing is a somewhat mundane task, it is a vital factor in customer satisfaction. A survey of customer behaviour conducted by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young last summer confirmed that displaying the correct pricing on products in-store is one of customers' key demands.