Press release

UK’s Southern Co-op and Scotmid Select AI-Based Intelligent Retail Assortment, Shelf, and Floor Planning Solutions From SymphonyAI

New category planning platform will deliver focused, locally tailored shopper offers for increased sales and central team efficiencies


PALO ALTO, Calif. — Oct. 11, 2023 — SymphonyAI, a leader in predictive and generative enterprise AI SaaS, today announced that Southern Co-op and Scottish Midland Co-operative (Scotmid) have selected SymphonyAI Retail CPG assortment and space planning solutions for implementation across the food business in the companies’ nearly 500 managed and franchise convenience stores in various regions of the U.K.

Southern Co-op - Guildford storeThe two businesses, which are both members of Federal Retail Trade and Services (FRTS), a central co-op food buying group, have a track record of continual innovation and investment in leading technology to keep their stores and customer offerings as relevant today as when they began trading more than 150 years ago. The two businesses plan to move to the next level through the power of SymphonyAI’s solutions to tailor the assortments, shelves, and floor spaces at both the store and category levels for data-driven alignment with the evolving needs of each store’s local customers.

Following a thorough vendor selection process, Southern Co-op and Scotmid selected SymphonyAI’s assortment and space planning for its powerful AI-driven insights and ease of use. SymphonyAI’s assortment optimization generates rapid, customer-centric assortments for each store format, using basket, loyalty, store and shelf space, supply chain, and market data to ensure the right products are available to customers at the right time and place. The businesses expect the SymphonyAI solutions to make it quicker and easier for their food teams to identify and turn valuable insights into macro- and micro-space improvements at a store level. Additionally, SymphonyAI stood out for its proven, deep grocery expertise, cloud-native SaaS architecture, and true partnership mindset. These qualities are already helping support rapid implementations and up-skilling of both co-ops’ food teams to use the new AI-based technology quickly.

“The advanced end-to-end range and space platform will be a game changer for us, making it possible to increase our member and customer satisfaction by better aligning and tailoring our product assortments at the SKU level by store with ease by utilizing the AI-driven clustering and product assortment functionality,” said Andrew Farndell, head of trading and format, Southern Co-op. “This will also improve the efficiency in the central functions with the ability to seamlessly move between modules and workflows when working on ranging or space projects whilst supporting increased on-shelf availability with specific shelf profile and shelf capacity ranging on a store-by-store, fixture-by-fixture basis.”

“I have been particularly impressed by the caliber and commitment of the whole SymphonyAI team,” said Mark Smith, CEO, Southern Co-op. “This project is already running as a genuine partnership with our vendor partners using their experience to help accelerate us at real pace to build our new range and space capability.”

“The SymphonyAI team are retail-focused AI expert innovators,” said Stewart Dobbie, director of Programme Ford, Scotmid. “The SymphonyAI category planning platform is best-of-breed, and the SymphonyAI team is already bringing new innovations to us on top — an example being their computer vision-based store intelligence.”

John Brodie, CEO of Scotmid, added, “Our core purpose is to serve our local communities and improve people’s everyday lives and SymphonyAI Retail CPG’s new range and space platform will further allow us to deliver on this core purpose.”

“We are excited to collaborate closely and productively with Southern and Scotmid Co-operatives to deliver measurable value as they deploy our leading AI technology to serve customers better, improve efficiencies, and present a consistent and localized shopper experience,” said Dusan Rnic, senior vice president, international for SymphonyAI Retail CPG. “Southern and Scotmid both anticipate the enormous value of intelligent space-aware assortment, and through our partnership, they can efficiently realize that value. We look forward to strong mutual success for many years to come.

About Southern Co-op
An independent co-operative based in the south of England, Southern Co-op is owned by its members and has a purpose of working together for the benefit of its communities. With a commitment to sustainable business, in 2022, it was presented with the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and Sustainable Development. Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2023, Southern Co-op has nearly 400 trading outlets in total across a number of markets. Through its Cobra Coffee subsidiary, it is one of the largest franchisees of Starbucks in the U.K. operating 70 coffee stores.

About Scotmid Co-op
Scotmid is Scotland’s largest independent co-operative and has been at the heart of Scottish communities since 1859. Our businesses include Scotmid Co-operative, Lakes & Dales Co-operative, Semichem, Scotmid Funerals, Post Offices and Scotmid Property. The Society employs almost 3,500 people in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the North of England. Scotmid is a co-operative society, owned by its members, who each have an equal say in how we are run.

About SymphonyAI
SymphonyAI is building the leading enterprise AI company for digital transformation across the most important and resilient growth verticals, including retail, consumer packaged goods, finance, manufacturing, media, and IT service management. SymphonyAI verticals have many leading enterprises as clients. Since its founding in 2017, SymphonyAI has grown rapidly to 2,000 talented leaders, data scientists, and other professionals. SymphonyAI is an SAIGroup company, backed by a $1 billion commitment from Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Media Contact
Jenna Jordan
Ketner Group Communications for SymphonyAI Retail CPG