A 29-week study by researchers at the University of Arkansas found Wal-Mart stores using electronic product codes and RFID technology attained a 16% reduction in out-of-stocks. Out-of-stock items with EPCs were also replaced faster than items using bar codes, researchers said. "This study provides conclusive evidence that EPCs increase how often we put products in the hands of customers who want to buy them, making it a win for shoppers, suppliers and retailers," said Linda Dillman, Wal-Mart Stores' CIO.
Kraft Foods will cut roughly 600 jobs by early 2006 as part of a major global restructuring effort it announced last year. Kraft North America Commercial will keep its five consumer sectors, including snacks, beverages, cheese & dairy, convenient meals and grocery, but will eliminate divisions within the sectors and plans to revamp its supply chain.
Delhaize America Inc.-owned Food Lion LLC is set to open its third Bottom Dollar store, a new discount concept with bright colors and humorous messaging throughout stores. Some employee t-shirts read, "I'm a black belt in price chopping."
Educators are incorporating fitness programs for kids into their schools, responding to a federal mandate that requires all schools that receive public funds for their lunchrooms to install programs to encourage kids to exercise more and eat more nutritious food. Each school system can develop its own plan, which must be in place by the next school year.