Metro-east residents won’t see robots in their Schnucks anytime soon, though the grocery store chain is testing an aisle-roaming bot in three St. Louis area stores.
The robot’s name is Tally, and it’s designed to make sure the store’s shelves are fully stocked, according to a news release from the St. Louis-based company. During a six-week test run, it will scan shelves three times a day to make sure products are placed correctly with the right shelf tag. The information Tally collects is passed on to employees, who will stock and organize shelves as needed.
The six-week test run starts Monday in three St. Louis-area stores — Schnucks Richmond Center, Schnucks Woods Mill and Schnucks Kirkwood. Schnucks spokesman Paul Simon said there aren’t any plans yet to employ Tally permanently, so shoppers won’t see the robot in metro-east stores anytime soon.
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Dave Steck, Schnucks vice president of IT and infrastructure, said Tally will help provide real-time information that can help employees stock shelves faster and smarter.
“We’re starting Tally’s pilot with a focus on in-stock position, but we’re hopeful that Tally may open up a world of other possibilities with the shelf data it collects,” Steck said in a statement.
San Francisco-based Simbe Robotics, Inc. designed Tally to go back to its docking station when it’s running low on power, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and stop in its place when it encounters a shopper.
Schnucks, founded in St. Louis in 1939, operates 100 stores and employs 14,000 people in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.