Northgate is a renowned Hispanic supermarket chain in the United States. It is headquartered in Anaheim, California and operates more than 40 stores across the U.S.
It has established itself as a trusted retailer for customers seeking authentic Mexican groceries, fresh produce, and other household items. Accordingly, they cater to over 550,000 customers per week.
As the retail industry continues to evolve, Northgate recognized the need to address challenges related to crowd management, long queues, extended waiting times, and overall operational efficiency in its stores.
To tackle these issues, Northgate partnered with Wavetec and implemented transformative solutions:
- Queue Management System at the Meat Section
- UNO-Q at the Checkout.
Northgate faced several significant concerns that prompted the need for a comprehensive solution:
- During peak traffic hours, stores faced issues with congestion, causing discomfort and diminishing the overall shopping experience for customers.
- Prolonged queues at checkout counters led to extended waiting times and heightened frustration among shoppers.
- Northgate’s stores grappled with limited resource distribution and management processes, significantly impacting workflow effectiveness.
- The extensive waiting times prompted more customers to abandon their shopping carts and leave.
- The time customers spent waiting for meat orders was essentially wasted, as it could have been utilized for shopping or completing other tasks.
Northgate decided to partner with Wavetec and implement two key solutions:
Queue Management System at the Meat Section:
A customized solution was designed to streamline the customer flow at the meat section of the store while enhancing the teller efficiency. This solution consisted of the following:
- Ticketing Kiosks: Enable the customers to generate their tickets
- SMS Integration: Customers receive their tickets and updates on the queue status via text messages. They are also notified when their turn arrives via messages.
- Digital Signages: Inform the customer when their meat is ready
- Wireless Call Button: Enable the teller to call the next customer
- Lobby Leader: Manage customer queues, and call the next customer
- Scale integration: Allow the tellers to call the customers directly from the weighing scale
UNO-Q at the Checkout:
At the checkout counters, we implemented UNO-Q, a Linear Queue Management System, to create an efficient and well-organized queuing system. This comprehensive solution incorporates
- Wireless Call Button
- Donatello Digital Signage Player
- LCD screens
The implementation of Wavetec’s solutions had a profound impact on Northgate’s operations:
Reduced Waiting Time:
At the meat section, Customers are no longer required to physically wait in queues, reducing their perceived waiting time
At the checkout, the flow of customers was streamlined, significantly reducing waiting times at the checkout point, and enhancing their overall shopping experience.
At the meat section, the customers could shop around after placing their order, dispersing the traffic that would have accumulated. This enabled the staff at the meat section to receive and process more orders.
At the checkout, peak rush hours could be handled better by improving resource allocation resulting in improved operational efficiency, and allowing Northgate to serve more customers effectively.
At the meat section, customers are not required to wait in a queue near the section; they can shop around. This improves the profitability.
At the checkout, effective queue management reduced the rate of cart abandonment and improved customer experience, This also ensured more repeat business. Hence, Northgate saw a positive impact on its profitability.
Setting the Benchmark for Retail’s Future
The implementation of the Queue Management System and UNO-Q showcases a new standard for excellence in the retail sector. Northgate’s journey exemplifies the transformative potential of Wavetec’s innovative solutions and provides a glimpse into the future of retail, where customer-centric strategies and modern technology drive success and customer satisfaction.