Sainsbury's supermarket aims to beat unpredictable weather
Supermarket giant Sainsbury's yesterday announced it was making a multimillion-pound investment in new technology that should help it beat the unpredictable British weather.
The group said the real-time supply chain technology would enable it to monitor exactly what food was selling on a minute-by- minute basis, allowing the company to know exactly what goods to send to individual stores each day.
Throughout the year supermarkets are faced with the problem of trying to predict exactly what the weather will be like.
Perishable foods often end up being wasted if stores have stocked up with salad in anticipation of a sunny weekend, but rain arrives instead.
But the group said the new technology would help it reduce the amount of food that went unbought during periods of unexpected weather by around 15 per cent, resulting in an annual CO2 reduction of more than 1,400 tonnes.
Sainsbury's, which declined to say exactly how much it was spending on the technology, or how much it would save by using it, said there were six so-called unexpected weather periods last year.
Tim Goalen, Sainsbury's supply chain director, said: "This new system allows us to react to any changes in buying pattern on the same day rather than overnight, meaning we can make far better decisions on where to send stock before it leaves our depots.
"Several times a year, shelves might be full of barbecue food for the weekend, only for unexpected rain to cause everyone to clamour for warm, hearty food instead. This new way of working will greatly reduce the risk of this."