Ex-Tesco Senior Exec John Burry Joins Shelf Engine To Lead Strategy and New Partnerships

Burry brings deep executive experience developing new businesses, service offerings, and technological innovations at one of the world’s largest retailers.

SEATTLE – November 11, 2021 – Shelf Engine announced today that John Burry, a global food retailing expert, has joined its leadership team to further advance strategy and foster new partnerships.

Burry’s distinguished career features over two decades at Tesco PLC, the UK’s largest retailer. There he served in a variety of senior leadership roles, both in the UK and internationally, including Chief Customer Officer and Chief Commercial Officer. Burry’s broad operating experience gives him a unique perspective on food retailing—specifically retailer and vendor partnerships, the role of innovation, and the complexities of short shelf-life supply chains. His impact is evident from his role in shaping Tesco’s widely admired chilled food business and his involvement as an advisor and investor in a broad range of CPG and technology companies. His commitment to reimagining the part that technology can play to solve persistent challenges across grocery retail—challenges he personally navigated throughout his tenure at Tesco—positions him perfectly to advance Shelf Engine’s mission of reducing food waste through automation.

“I know the problem very well,” Burry said. “I spent much of my career at Tesco working to balance the competing pressures of assortment, availability, sales, and waste in perishable categories. What caught my attention about Shelf Engine’s approach is its willingness and ability to align incentives with its retail partners by providing a guarantee to cover the cost of food waste. This represents a step function change for the industry that will be incredibly valuable to retailers.”

“As we look at the economics of labor and the unsustainable levels of fresh food waste, it becomes even clearer that new forecasting and ordering models are required to enable retailers to compete effectively.”
John Burry | Shelf Engine

“The timing couldn’t be better to welcome John to the team here at Shelf Engine, and for him to apply his wealth of experience and insights to multiply the impact we’ve achieved to date,” said Shelf Engine CEO Stefan Kalb. “When you have the opportunity to work alongside someone who has helped revolutionize a sector, championed the use of technology in novel ways, and led expansion into new frontiers, you jump at that chance. We’re honored that John has joined us.”

Shelf Engine’s automated forecasting and ordering technology applies AI and machine learning to deliver the ideal order for perishables. Retail clients experience drastically reduced food waste while realizing an average gross margin dollar expansion of more than 15%. Since its inception in 2016, Shelf Engine has helped retailers divert over 1 million pounds of food waste from landfills. Shelf Engine’s solution, currently operating nationwide with retailers and foodservice companies like Kroger, Whole Foods Market, and Compass Group, provides peace of mind for both retailers and suppliers with a guaranteed sale. By covering the cost of food waste, Shelf Engine eliminates inventory risk for its retail customers in a way that no licensed software solution can match.

“I’m very impressed with how the Shelf Engine team has been able to rethink the problem of food waste in grocery retail and generate such meaningful results so quickly,” said Burry. “They are combining cutting edge machine learning techniques with close supplier and retailer partnerships to achieve very real benefits. Food waste is a massive and complex challenge that we must tackle with new solutions, more collaboration within supply chains, and the best available technology. I’m really looking forward to being a part of doing just that here at Shelf Engine.”

About Shelf Engine
Shelf Engine forecasts and orders highly perishable foods for grocers at scale. Using AI, Shelf Engine’s platform predicts consumer demand with high precision and automates ordering for every SKU, every day, in every store. Shelf Engine simplifies grocery operations by automating the purchase orders sent to suppliers and distributors, paying them directly for the products they deliver, and only charging retailers for what they sell. Shelf Engine’s performance-based model reduces labor requirements, eliminates inventory risk, and guarantees profit expansion from day one. Launched in 2016, Seattle-based Shelf Engine has more than 200 employees and manages orders for leading retailers at thousands of locations nationwide.

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