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Retailrobots on the rise

by Marco van der Hoeven

In the United States, more and more stores are using retail robots. For example, retail chain Schnuck Markets will expand the deployment of Simbe Robotics robot Tally with another 46 stores, using the real-time data collected by Tally at 62 locations.

Schnucks first tested Tally in July 2017 and expanded it to additional stores in 2018, with robots traversing store aisles two to three times a day, autonomously capturing inventory for approximately 35,000 products per store at each aisle. Employees and customers alike were positive about the improved inventory and productivity in these stores – a result that the Schnucks team calls ‘The Tally Effect’.

4.2 million products per day

With this latest enhancement, Tally scans more than 4.2 million products per day on average, giving Schnucks accurate, frequent and comprehensive insights into product flow and operations. This enhanced partnership with Simbe is an important milestone in Schnucks’ commitment to leveraging new technology to provide customers with the best possible shopping experiences.


“The amount of critical data and valuable insights that Tally continues to provide us from a limited number of stores is enormous,” said Dave Steck, vice president of IT infrastructure and development at Schnucks. “By expanding our partnership with Simbe and introducing Tally in more than half of our stores, we will improve our inventory position for our customers and free our teams from tedious inventory-related tasks, allowing us to focus more on service. Improving the experiences of our customers has always been very important to us and is becoming even more important for operations in a rapidly changing retail environment. ”

The additional benefits of Tally are, according to Steck:

  • 14x more failure detection than manual check and at least 20% fewer items sold out in stores with Tally
  • Improved accuracy of real-time inventory entering into Schnucks automated replenishment system, enabling more efficient inventory management
  • Streamlined ordering and replenishment so store shelves are replenished more quickly to meet customer needs
  • Access to real-time product location data through the Schnucks Rewards app, enabling customers to shop more efficiently and resupply teammates

“Schnucks has done a great job applying thoughtful innovation to consistently enrich the shopping experience, share advanced resources with store teams and ultimately improve operations,” said Brad Bogolea, founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics. “Simbe is proud to expand our partnership now and into the future and continue to work together across a variety of store sizes and layouts to create a better shopping experience through data-driven solutions such as Tally. As retailers recognize the need for innovation in a unique market landscape, Simbe provides them with the insights they need to stay competitive and keep customers happy. ”

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