ST. LOUIS, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., and BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — Nestlé Purina PetCare announced that it has implemented a new category management solution and virtual reality technology to assist its retail partners. The pet food and supplies company has partnered with Blue Yonder, a provider of digital supply chain and fulfillment solutions and 3DVR Solutions (3DVRS).

Purina offers more than 20 pet care brands throughout the United States, feeding about 65 million dogs and 51 million cats annually, according to the company. The company provides its retail partners with planograms, which create shelfs to improve product merchandising and meet customer needs. With travel remaining constricted by COVID-19, Purina sought to provide a remote way for its associates to collaborate with retail partners, partnering with Blue Yonder and 3DVRS.

3DVRS offers a Retail Visualization Suite (RVS) Virtual Reality Headset that combines planogram data from Blue Yonder with virtual reality capabilities, providing Purina’s partners with an interactive, avatar-based merchandising solution. The integrated system brings together Purina associates and retail partners in the metaverse, enabling them to plan and interact with one another.

“3DVRS’ integration with Blue Yonder delivers flexibility, speed and scale, giving us the ability to effectively deploy across the business,” said Gene Feldman, training manager at Purina. “The evolution from virtual reality on the desktop to network avatars in the RVS VR Headset solution has been seamless. We can now hold meetings virtually in the metaverse, interact with layouts, products and store innovations, allowing us to be right at the cutting edge.”

Since the implementation of the metaverse system, Purina has eliminated the need of a physical store to create shelving solutions, reduced its travel and environmental impact, decreased training costs, reduced the time need to merchandise a shelf, incorporated real-life factors into retail shelf planning, and established partnerships to enhance a customer’s store journey.

“Working with 3DVRS has allowed us to bring Blue Yonder’s planograms to life in the metaverse where users can merchandise, analyze, interact and meet as avatars to design shelfs that meet customers’ needs,” said Phillip Teschemacher, corporate vice president of manufacturing for EMEA at Blue Yonder. “This is cutting-edge technology at its finest and Purina was one of the first companies to benefit from it. By creating a culture of innovation and thought leadership throughout the organization, Purina is building a great place to work for both their associates and retail partners.”

Blue Yonder and 3DVRS’ combined solutions have allowed Purina’s retail partners to make quick and accurate space allocation decisions to help their customers find products more easily and improve the overall shopping experience.

“Purina is a fantastic partner to innovate with as they are always looking to the latest technology to give their business the edge,” said Nigel Hemer, founder and chief executive officer of 3DVRS. “The challenges they presented pushed technological boundaries. Our integration with Blue Yonder gives us the platform to support large enterprises such as Purina. It’s great to bring new tech to the market that makes a real difference. It’s amazing what we have achieved together already, but I sense there's a lot more to come.”

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