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04/08/2022

Wakefern Partners With Simbe Robotics to Test Tally

Retailer-owned co-op is latest grocer to deploy Tally robot in stores
Emily Crowe
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Schnucks Becomes 1st Grocer to Deploy AI Robots Chainwide Simbe Robotics Tally
AI-powered Tally robots will traverse the grocer’s aisles up to three times per day.

Retailer-owned cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. is deploying the Tally robot from Simbe Robotics to collect business insights across its trading area. Through its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform, Tally is able to collect in-store data and inventory insights without interrupting daily operations.

“Wakefern Food Corp. is committed to providing our customers best-in-class grocery shopping experiences,” said Charles J. McWeeney, VP of technology, innovation and strategy at Wakefern. “Tally’s technology is another tool to help our store operations and staff while creating new opportunities to maximize customer satisfaction.”

Tally uses computer vision technology to collect data from store shelves that can help Wakefern employees ensure products are in-stock, in the correct location and accurately priced. The autonomous robot can run up to three times per day without being obtrusive to shoppers and does not require infrastructure changes to the store itself.

“The retail industry is facing a unique and unprecedented set of challenges, and companies must thoughtfully adopt technology to address those challenges while continuing to provide a stellar level of service that customers expect,” said Brad Bogolea, co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Simbe Robotics. “Tally is a cost-effective solution that supports the work of store teams and enhances the retail experience for associates and customers.”

Last year, Schnuck Markets became the first supermarket chain to deploy Simbe’s AI Tally robots chainwide. Schnucks first piloted Tally in July 2017 and expanded to additional stores in 2018 and 2020. Hy-Vee rolled out Tally robots at five stores throughout its Midwest footprint last September, and California-based Save Mart partnered with Simbe earlier last year to pilot the business solution at seven stores operating under its Save Mart, Lucky/Lucky California and FoodMaxx banners in the Modesto and East Bay areas.

The largest retailer-owned grocery cooperative in the United States. Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern comprises nearly 50 members that independently own and operate 361 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs nearly 80,000 people. The company is No. 23 on The PG100, Progressive Grocer’s2021 listing of North America’s top food and consumables retailers in North America. SchnucksHy-Vee and The Save Mart Cos. are Nos. 64, 34 and 51, respectively, on The PG 100.

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