Altierre: Revolutionizing retail space

Date:   Monday , November 10, 2008

Retailers still find it a big challenge when it comes to changing prices on items on store shelves. San Jose, Calif.-based Altierre solves this problem with technology enabling retailers to change store-aisle prices electronically on the fly.

The company’s solution includes a wireless IT platform and product shelves lined with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags with liquid crystal displays. Store owners can use it to make pricing changes in just one store, regionally, or across a whole chain.

The company is co-developing its system with several of the nation’s top-10 grocery chains. “The promise is big savings for retailers. With our system in place, an executive at a retailer’s headquarters can change the price of any product in some or all stores via computer commands, which are transmitted to the tags through wireless radio signals”, says Sunit Saxena, CEO. It gives retailers much more flexibility to change prices based on store traffic and season. The tags also let retailers instantly launch promotions such as “buy one, get one free.”

Thanks to this emerging technology it enabled the company to raise a third funding round of $30 million. The Galleon Group led the round and returning investors included ATA Ventures, the D. E. Shaw group, Dupont Capital Management and Labrador Ventures. To date, the company has raised $60 million since it was founded in 2003.

Since its establishment in 2003, Altierre has been working closely with several leading retail chains in the United States. Its RF based platform provides many benefits to retailers, such as improving both revenues and margins and saving billions in paper costs. Benefits to consumers include reduced paper waste; cleaner, less cluttered aisles; more accurate pricing; and opportunities to take advantage of discounts and specials while they shop. Its initial offering, ESLs (Electronic Shelf Labels), automate the price and information dissemination process in stores.

The market opportunity for Altierre’s solutions exceeds tens of billions of dollars in the United States alone. Addressing a major pain point within the $3 Trillion US retail industry, Altierre is attacking the “next big thing”.