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08/26/2021

Schnuck Markets is first grocer to deploy AI robots chainwide

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Marianne Wilson profile picture
Schnucks Tally robot
Schnuck Markets will bring Simbe Robotics “Tally” robots to all U.S. stores.

It’s an industry first for Schnuck Markets.

The regional grocer has committed to a multi-year,  full-scale roll-out that will bring Simbe Robotics’ autonomous shelf-scanning “Tally” robots  to all 111 Schnucks locations in the United States.  The deployment, which builds on previous expansions, will make Schnucks the first grocer in the world to utilize AI-powered inventory management technology at scale.

Schnucks first piloted Tally in July of 2017, and expanded to additional stores in 2018 and 2020. The roving device traverses store aisles up to three times per day and autonomously captures on-shelf data including inventory position, price accuracy, and promotional execution.

By incorporating Simbe’s solution into chainwide operations, Schnucks said it will gain even greater visibility into store conditions, with deeper levels of business insights as the retailer prepares 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, VP of IT infrastructure and application development. “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.

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.”

 Tally has become an integral component of Schnuck stores, Steck said, “streamlining operations and ultimately creating a better store experience for our customers and teammates.”

Additional benefits of Tally include:

  • Detecting 14x more addressable out-of-stocks than manual scans; 
  • Enabled 20-30% 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; and
  • 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

Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck operates 111 stores, serving customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

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