I embrace anything that can make us more efficient, that can drive our customers and drive sales. Our consumers like it, our employees like it; it's certainly been a very positive thing for this business.
James Haines, Store Owner, Central ShopRite Michigan
Installed reverse vending system
“Bottles were always a pain. Whether it was from a consumer or retailer aspect, they've always been terrible. But today, it's exciting,” explains third-generation grocery store owner, James Haines. Located in the small community of Vassar, 1.5 hours outside of Detroit, Central Shop Rite employs just under 100 staff and enjoys taking care of people.
Commenting on being on one of the first TOMRA customers across the globe to implement the full package of TOMRA Smarter System offerings, James said, “I embrace anything that can make us more efficient, that can drive our customers and drive sales. Our consumers like it, our employees like it; it's certainly been a very positive thing for this business.”
Leveraging Reverse Vending, Digital and Service
James’ relationship with TOMRA extends back to 1997, when the store first introduced reverse vending machines for receiving empty beverage containers for Bottle Bill refunds. He appreciates the aesthetic look of the machines, which are the first thing shoppers see when entering his store. Consumers have told him that they love the speed and user-friendliness of TOMRA’s reverse vending machines, and James’ staff appreciate how easy the machines are to clean.
Service has also been easy, with little need for service calls from TOMRA. “The service [team] is outstanding: they represent TOMRA well, they represent me well when they come in here, they’re great with customers. They've always been wonderful to work with. Professional, prompt. I’d recommend them to anybody.”
Several years ago, James spent much of his time writing to congress lobbying against container deposit systems. However, he had a complete turnaround following the launch of TOMRA’s new digital portfolio, TOMRA Connect, which extends the value of owning and using a reverse vending machine. Shop Rite already uses TOMRA Connect’s control and consumer engagement tools. “An opportunity to communicate with our customers is first class. Being able to communicate with the customer creates loyalty and excitement and a reason to come back to that store.”
James explains that everything they do as a store is geared toward tomorrow and what will make them successful in future. “Staying involved with technology is key with the success of this whole business – and it starts here. It has a very positive effect on the community, it has a positive effect on our environment. It’s been a win-win.”