Robots to keep tabs on inventory for retailer

by Inside Logistics Online Staff
Simbe’s Tally robot can interact safely with store customers. (Photo: Simbe Robotics)

PITTSBURGH – U.S. food retailer Giant Eagle has unveiled a pilot program with Simbe Robotics to use robotic inventory takes on the retail floor.

Tally, Simbe’s autonomous shelf auditing and inventory analytics solution, will be trialed in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Akron areas.

In the pilot program with Giant Eagle, Tally sends detailed data reports to store teams every 30 minutes that capture, report, and analyze the state and availability of merchandise. These reports help retail teams to focus on controllable out-of-stock and pricing situations while optimizing each store’s product layout.

Tally has the ability to audit shelves more frequently, and significantly faster than existing processes, and with near-perfect accuracy. The robot requires no infrastructure changes to the store, and operates safely during normal store hours alongside shoppers and employees.

With Simbe’s cloud-based software platform and API, Giant Eagle has unprecedented information and insight into the state of its stores. This information can be used to streamline store performance, maximize customer satisfaction, increase sales, and reduce operational expenditures.

“When it comes to the food retail industry, shopper experience is everything,” said Giant Eagle spokesperson Jannah Jablonowski.

“If a product is unavailable at the time our customer wants to buy it, we’ve missed an opportunity and disappointed our customer. Tally helps us address these challenges by providing more precise and timely analysis of the state of in-store merchandise and freeing up staff to focus on customer service and guest interaction.”

With Tally, Giant Eagle will benefit from:

  • High-accuracy inventory count of front facing items
  • Out-of-stock and low stock detection
  • Identification of misplaced items
  • Identification of incorrectly facing or oriented items
  • Product price tag validation
  • Third-party supplier compliance and vendor management

In its current pilot deployment, Tally robots in Giant Eagle and Market District traverse the floors multiple times per day, scanning approximately 35,000 products across the centre-store grocery, healthcare and beauty aisles.

Giant Eagle, Inc. is one of the largest food retailers and distributors in the U.S. with approximately US$8.9 billion in annual sales.