Robomart — ‘store that comes to you’ — hits the road in West Hollywood

Marianne Wilson

What’s billed as the world’s “first store-hailing platform” promises to bring mobile stores to consumers in less than 10 minutes. 

Robomart has launched a fleet of on-demand mobile mini-marts in West Hollywood, Calif. The concept works in a similar fashion to Uber in that consumers, using the proprietary Robomort app, can hail a mobile store to come to them and have it arrive at their chosen location in under 10 minutes. When it arrives, they open the doors (via the app) and handpick their own products.

For the initial launch, the company is premiering two Robomart types, including Pharmacy Robomart, which includes shampoo, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen and more, and was recently piloted in West Hollywood.  A Snacks Robomart includes chocolates, chips, soft drinks and other ready-to-eat snack products.  The company is in the development phase with its Grocery Robomart, which will feature fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other refrigerated items. Robomart plans to expand its fleet to include the Pantry, Deli and Café Robomarts in the coming months.

Robomart allows consumers to view a list of all products in the Robomart app before hailing and then handpick their items when the vehicle arrives at their door – eliminating product selection error or out of stock items. The Robomart shopping experience features a proprietary RFID-based checkout-free system that allows users to take the selected products, place them in the bag and walk away – without physically checking out and paying.

“We’re incredibly excited to launch Robomart in West Hollywood and introduce consumers to the latest innovation in retail,” said Robomart co-founder Ali Ahmed. “In the past decade, online delivery services have grown substantially and filled a need in the market, however, there are still many challenges that make these services undesirable for consumers. With Robomart, we’re disrupting the industry and have received incredible feedback from consumers on how this is the most convenient way to shop – delivering the fastest and most seamless shopping experience – which other delivery services simply can’t offer.”

For this launch, Robomart has partnered Reef, the largest operator of mobility and logistics hubs and neighborhood kitchens in North America, to manage product stocking, tagging, scanning, integrity and replenishment. In 2018, Robomart made its debut at CES, where the company unveiled the world’s first self-driving grocery store. Robomart continues to develop its autonomous technology and will incorporate driverless vehicles into its fleet as regulations allow.

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