By Russell Redman
Source: Supermarket News
The Save Mart Companies plans to test Simbe Robotics’ Tally shelf-scanning robot at seven California stores to help reduce out-of-stocks and ensure products are where they should be in the aisle.
Modesto, Calif.-based Save Mart said Friday that it will deploy Tally at three Save Mart stores in the Modesto area, two Lucky California stores in Dublin and San Ramon, and two FoodMaxx stores in Modesto and Tracy.
Described as an autonomous inventory robot, Tally will roam the aisles at the Save Mart Companies’ stores to provide the retailer with an audit of store shelves, which includes checking products’ in-stock status and ensuring they’re in the correct location on the sales floor. The robot can scan up to 30,000 products daily, South San Francisco-based Simbe said, adding that the real-time data and inventory insights collected can cut out-of-stocks as much as 30% and free up store associates to focus more on customer service, in turn improving the shopper experience.
“Deepening our commitment to innovation with this pilot program is a reflection of The Save Mart Companies’ promise to our customers to ensure the best in-store experiences,” Hal Levitt, senior vice president of retail operations at The Save Mart Companies, said in a statement. “We’re pleased to have a strong technology partner in Simbe to support us in testing a new, effective inventory management solution in our stores and allowing us to provide better product availability.”
Simbe noted that Tally enables faster, more frequent and more comprehensive inventory audits than manual processes with a high level of accuracy. In addition, no infrastructure changes to the store environment are needed. Tally uses sensors to safely navigate around aisles, shoppers and employees, and the robot returns to its charging dock on its own.
After an evaluation of Tally’s performance, Save Mart may adopt the robot’s cloud-powered software platform and APIs to gain deeper information on inventory insights, which could bolster stores’ performance by improving in-stocks, raising customer satisfaction, and boosting brick-and-mortar and online sales, the companies said.
“The pandemic has further illuminated the critical need for strong on-shelf inventory data, and no retail solution provides this data with greater accuracy and fidelity than Tally,” according to Brad Bogolea, CEO and co-founder of Simbe Robotics. “Retailers are facing an ever-evolving landscape, and Tally provides a cost-effective solution that enables them to stay ahead of the curve, with improved operations and efficiency. Through our partnership, The Save Mart Companies will build a more resilient supply chain and ensure the best possible experience for customers and store teams across all three of the company’s banners.”
Other supermarket chains that have deployed Tally include St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets and Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, as well as French grocery retail giant Carrefour.
Save Mart’s Tally deployment marks its second robotics pilot announced within the past year. Last September, the grocer launched an on-demand grocery delivery service to its customers at the flagship Save Mart store in Modesto using autonomous robots from Starship Technologies.