ShopRite Rolling Out More AI Robots

Following a 20-store pilot, Wakefern will bring Tally robots to more ShopRite stores as a way to reduce out-of-stock rates and free up associates' time for other tasks.
Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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Wakefern Food Corp., a retail wholesaler and the parent company of the ShopRite, Price Rite, Price Chopper and Ideal Food Basket chains, is rolling out more robotic inventory solutions to ShopRite stores after a successful pilot.

Wakefern began testing Simbe Robotics’ AI-powered business intelligence solution, Tally, at 20 select ShopRite stores in 2022 to provide real-time insights for inventory management and store optimization. The pilot program vetted Simbe’s platform and ensured its technology “seamlessly integrated” into the retailer’s store environments, according to a media release from Simbe.

With Tally, the stores were able to leverage Simbe’s real-time insights to reduce out-of-stock rates, which Simbe said maximized inventory availability and exceeded industry standards, while helping store associates do more “impactful, customer-facing” work.

Tally is an inventory robot that autonomously scans shelves of products using AI to identify out-of-stock, misplaced or mispriced products, as well as generate comprehensive product location data for efficient inventory replenishment, per the release. Simbe then delivers real-time shelf condition data directly to retail associates’ handheld devices to drive improved store operations.

“With timely, consistent, and accurate product data from Tally, our in-store mobile application presents a prioritized aisle-by-aisle inventory work list to the store associates, ensuring they invest their time in the most meaningful and valuable services for our customers,” Charles J. McWeeney, vice president, technology, innovation and strategy at Wakefern, said in the release.

Tally autonomously and quietly roams stores multiple times per day and operates alongside shoppers and in tandem with store associates.

In addition, Simbe announced a Series B raise of $28 million, led by Eclipse, in July. Simbe says this latest investment will help it meet growing demand for its solution among retailers like Wakefern and BJ’s Wholesale Club, which began rolling out Tally to clubs back in March.