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SpartanNash tracks store inventory with robots

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SpartanNash is moving beyond pilot stage in its use of an autonomous inventory robot solution.

The grocery retailer/distributor is rolling out the Simbe Robotics Tally AI-based robotic solution across 15 stores in Michigan and Indiana. This move comes following a successful pilot in select D&W Fresh Market stores.

SpartanNash is now implementing the robots in additional Family Fare and Martin's Super Market stores. The retailer intends to leverage the real-time data intelligence that Tally provides to helps ensure customers’ desired items stay fresh, and are adequately stocked and priced competitively.

Tally traverses store aisles throughout the day, leveraging 3D computer vision technology to collect shelf data. It can capture 15,000 to 30,000 products an hour.

"Tally's speed, accuracy and automation enable our Associates to save time in inventory tracking and spend more time on the floor serving store guests," said SpartanNash executive VP, corporate retail Tom Swanson. 

"SpartanNash is positively influencing our store guest experience through new-to-world technology innovations such as Tally to help us in our mission to deliver the ingredients for a better life," said SpartanNash executive VP, chief strategy and information officer Masiar Tayebi.

"When we first started working with SpartanNash, we knew this was a partner that recognized the powerful role technology can play in enhancing in-store operations and, as a result, the customer experience," said Simbe Robotics co-founder and CEO Brad Bogolea. "It's been so rewarding working together to further deploy our retail solution. We're excited to continue providing powerful insights for SpartanNash to help improve the shopping experience for store guests and Associates." 

Grocers, warehouse clubs automate shelf tracking with robots

Wakefern Food Corp., which operates the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners, is also utilizing Simbe Robotics Tally robots.

Similar to a recent rollout of the solution at BJ’s Wholesale Club, robots autonomously roam store aisles of Wakefern banners up to three times per day, leveraging computer vision technology to scan products to ensure they are in-stock, in the correct location, and accurately priced on the sales floor.

Two other regional grocers, Hy-Vee Inc. and Schnuck Markets, have also deployed Simbe Robotics Tally robots in their stores to automate the capture of on-shelf data including inventory position, price accuracy, and promotional execution.

The core businesses of SpartanNash include distributing grocery products to independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges. The company also operates a fresh produce distribution network and the Our Family brand. SpartanNash serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Djibouti. The company owns 145 supermarkets—primarily under the banners of Family Fare, Martin's Super Markets, D&W Fresh Market, VG's Grocery, and Dan's Supermarket.

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