Walmart’s Former Chief Scientist, Dr. Donald High, Joins Focal Systems’ Leadership Team to Drive the Automation of Brick and Mortar Retail

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Focal Systems Inc., the industry leader in retail automation solutions announced today that Dr. Donald High has joined the company as a technology strategist.

Focal Systems is experiencing rapid growth with their shelf camera based automated inventory solution that helps retailers cut costs while improving their on-shelf availability.

High is an experienced retail technology leader who previously served as the Chief Scientist at Walmart and the Chief Innovation Officer at Ashley Furniture. High holds over 150 technology patents and has played a key role in evaluating innovative technology that solves multi billion dollar problems for brick and mortar retail stores.

“I’ve spent the past 15 years in the retail industry evaluating technology solutions to solve the out of stock problem,” said Dr. Donald High. “Focal’s shelf camera based approach has clearly established itself as the most cost effective and accurate way to produce real time shelf data. With this practical, cutting edge technology in place, retailers unlock significant opportunities to reduce operational costs and increase sales through higher on-shelf availability.”

“Don brings a wealth of experience and an analytical approach that will help us continue to innovate to best serve our retail customers,” said Francois Chaubard, CEO, Focal Systems. “We are thrilled to have him join the team and contribute to our product roadmap and overall company strategy.”

As society adjusts to a new normal, retailers are forced to reinvent how they operate and are seeking technology partners that enable them to deliver on their customer needs. Focal Systems and their operating system of retail portfolio are poised to usher in the next generation of retail.

About Focal Systems

Focal Systems’ platform helps retailers cut shelf scanning cost in half by switching from manual to automated shelf scans.

The solution is based on low cost, discrete shelf cameras, a sophisticated computer vision model and a cloud-based machine learning platform that is tuned for complex retail environments.

By providing automated, real-time insight into on-shelf product availability, retailers can repurpose store personnel to focus on customer experience and other higher value tasks.

In addition, the real time data captured by the shelf cameras feeds into Focal Systems’ AI engine which can help automate and optimize product availability and merchandising decisions.

These optimizations have proven to save up to 50% on manual shelf scanning cost and significantly improve in-store customer experience via higher product availability which generates a 3-5% increase in sales compared to baseline stores.

Focal Systems’ platform is deployable at scale and will provide impactful results from day one. It also integrates with existing retail systems and applications to enable additional cost savings and insights from its real-time product availability and analysis.

Focal Systems’ shelf cams are deployed at scale with proven results at several major global retailers and process more than 10M shelf scan images every day.


Jeremy Pugh, VP Sales
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