Electronic Shelf Label, also known by the acronym ESL. It is the latest solution for inventory and price management in the retail sector, based on the use of advanced IT technology. ESL replaces conventional paper price tags attached to the shelves of supermarkets and department stores with, for example, LCDs and electronic paper (E-paper) that show information on product price, sales promotions, etc.
ESL takes advantage of Zigbee, a low-power wireless communication technology, to keep product prices updated in real time. ESL consists of an e-paper equipped tag and gateway which delivers product information. The central server transmits information of each product to the gateway, which in turn sends such information to thousands of tags at the same time.
Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) is a technology-intensive industry. The top two manufacturers are Store Electronic Systems (imagotag) and Pricer in 2017. The other competitors include Displaydata, E Ink, Opticon Sensors Europe B.V, DIGI, Altierre, Hanshow Technology and new entrants like Panasonic, LG innotek and Samsung etc. There are also a number of smaller regional companies or companies that are attempting to develop products with a view to establishing a position on the market. With the restructuring of the sector, for example, if one or more competitors were to enter into an alliance with a strong partner, this could constitute a threat to other players in the market. The growth of Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) industry depends on the acceptance of retail store.
At present, in developed countries, the Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) industry is generally at a more advanced level. The world's largest enterprises are mainly concentrated in Europe. Meanwhile, foreign companies have more advanced R & D capability and leading technical level. However, foreign companies’ manufacturing cost is relatively higher, compared with Asia companies.
In the coming years, Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) market is expected to witness the highest growth rate in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in China. China has about 100 thousand chain supermarket and the penetration rate of ESL is small.
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