(WEHT)– Schnuck Markets, Inc. announced an industry-first. Their chainwide expansion with Simbe Robotics’ will eventually bring Tally robots to all 111 Schnucks locations across the U.S.
This multi-year full-scale roll-out of robots would make Schnucks the first grocer in the world to utilize AI-powered inventory management technology at scale, helping their grocery stores to adjust to the quickly evolving landscape of a post-pandemic world.
“We are facing a ‘new normal’ in the grocery industry, and Tally has been instrumental to
ensuring we continue to provide an exceptional store experience while rising to meet new
operational challenges,” said Dave Steck, Vice President of IT Infrastructure and Application
Development of Schnucks Markets. “By deploying Tally to all stores, we are fully operationalizing these insights into our supply chain and expanding our ability to leverage real-time data to make revenue impacting decisions. Tally has become an integral component of our stores, streamlining operations and ultimately creating a better store experience for our customers and teammates.”
Tally is a robot that works with retail store associates by giving them timely information to keep products stocked, in the right place, and correctly priced. Tally uses sensors and can work alongside shoppers and employees. The robot’s technology doesn’t require any infrastructure changes to the store.
The robot scans entire stores up to three times per day and autonomously
returns to its dock allowing for continuous operation. Combined with Simbe’s cloud-powered
software platform, powered by computer vision and machine learning, retailers have
information and insight into the state of their stores.
“When we know for certain that the store probably has it somewhere in the store, could be in the back room could be on display somewhere else, then we tell employees to address the issue and bring it to the shelves for customers,” Steck said.
Schnucks first piloted Tally in July of 2017 and expanded to additional stores in 2018 and 2020.
Tally traverses store aisles up to three times per day and autonomously captures on-shelf data
including inventory position, price accuracy, and promotional execution. Leaders of the grocery store chain say additional benefits of Tally include:
● Detecting 14x more addressable out-of-stocks than manual scans
● Enabled 20-30 percent reduction in out-of-stock items
● Increased price tag and promotional execution compliance in stores across
tens of thousands of products per day
● Increased accuracy of real-time inventory integrated into Schnucks’
automated replenishment system, streamlining ordering, and ensuring store
shelves are restocked quicker to meet customer needs
● Delivered access to real-time product location data through the Schnucks
Rewards app, enabling more efficient shopping trips for customers, restocking
and fulfillment activities for store teams, and 3rd party e-commerce partners
“Schnucks is the prime example of thoughtful adoption of retail technology, and we are
honored to be their partner on this journey to create a better store experience through access
to richer data,” said Brad Bogolea, founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics. “This expansion is a
momentous occasion for Simbe, Schnucks, and the broader retail technology industry. It
demonstrates that robots that are thoughtfully deployed are a critically important tool for
retailers to improve bottom lines, support teams, and maintain an exceptional shopping
experience, both in stores and online.”
Steck added that Tally has become quite popular among many children. “Many of our younger
customers get very excited to see Tally going up and down the aisles of our stores and seek it
out when shopping with their parents,” he said. “A recent social media video we shared of a
child’s interaction with Tally, quickly went viral.”
“The robot is really not that large. It’s not that scary. It stays close to the shelving it doesn’t go out into the middle of the aisle so we’re trying to be cognizant of that customer reaction as well in making sure that this is not some big scary robot people will fear,” Steck said.