Thursday, March 25, 2010

Food Lion now Food Spying

There have been a couple articles recently about grocery stores using the video cameras to watch shopping instead of theiving. That's right, they watch the people that PAY for their groceries. It's the newest thing in marketing strategy - watch the people in the store and see what they look at and buy. You would think that the sales at the register would give them most of the info... think again. They may want to know what you look like, bring kids, what else is in your cart, etc... Intriguing. Thanks to some great discounts at Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter, I won't be getting a close up any time soon. That is unless it is going to snow - gotta get the milk and bread (HAHA).

Here is part of an article from the New York Times:Such clips, retailers say, can help them find solutions to problems in their stores — by installing seating and activity areas to mollify children, for instance, or by lowering shelves so merchandise is within easy reach.
Privacy advocates, though, are troubled by the array of video cameras, motion detectors and other sensors monitoring the nation’s shopping aisles.
Many stores and the consultants they hire are using the gear not to catch shoplifters but to analyze and to manipulate consumer behavior. And while taping shoppers is legal, critics say it is unethical to observe people as if they were lab rats. They are concerned that the practices will lead to an even greater invasion of privacy, particularly facial recognition technology, which is already in the early stages of deployment.

According to the Charlotte Observer, this is only in two stores now. There are 1200 stores in their chain. There will be two more using it in the next several months. Considering their corporate offices are in Salisbury, these stores are probably not far away.

Food for thought Stop sneaking grapes in the produce section :)

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