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LIDL Finland: Smart shopping

Anyone who goes to a supermarket nowadays wants to do their shopping quickly and easily. The foodstuffs should above all be fresh, though they must also be available in sufficient quantities. While that all sounds straightforward, it is not that easy to achieve this in practice. Innovative retailers like Lidl are therefore relying on concept of the “smart supermarket” and are establishing additional data centres inside their branches. Since all the locations are networked with each other, the supermarket discounter can check the inventory in real time and optimise planned deliveries. The cash register systems, bottle deposit machines and security cameras are also interlinked. All this calls for a data centre that is available around the clock.

Together with the experts from Lidl, Rittal Finland has developed a solution for the flexible and rapid deployment of data centres at every branch. Rittal TS IT racks are also used that have been adapted to the budget supermarket’s individual requirements. For example, it was not possible to retrofit existing branches with IT technology rooms. That is why a closed solution was developed that also operates with electronic door locks and security cameras. The IT racks are based on the standard products but they have been adapted to Lidl’s requirements by means of special cable guides, ceiling fans, filters and cooling lines.

“The project has been going extremely well since the design phase. The experts from Rittal have delivered what they promised. They have clearly understood what we need in our stores."

Patrik Sundgren, Lidl’s IT Infrastructure Manager.

Results

Now, Lidl is monitoring its inventory levels in real time in order to improve the ordering processes even further. This way, customers always find their favourite products on the shelf. Optimising inventory also adjusts the amount of perishable foodstuffs available to the actual demand. As a result, less foodstuffs are thrown away into the garbage at the end of their shelf life, meaning that Lidl operates more economically and helps to protect the environment.