Walmart is testing shelf-scanning robots in 50 stores
As retailers are increasingly relying on automated services and robotic technology, Walmart has revealed that it is currently testing shelf-scanning robots in 50 locations.
The machines from Bossa Nova Robotics will check inventory levels, pricing and look for misplaced items, according to Walmart.
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Whilst there will be technicians on-site in case of difficulties, the robots are fully autonomous and, thanks to £D imaging, that can dodge around obstacles.
The move comes as part of the company’s wider strategy to innovate over the next few years.
Beyond these shelf-scanning robots, the company is also researching voice technology to make it easier for consumers to chat with the robot and purchase the things they need.
Walmart has stressed that the robots are meant to aid human workers rather than replacing them, noting that checking shelves is tedious work that is prone to human error.
The robots will do the rote work, say the company, whilst the human employees focus on the more personable matter of customer service.
In a promotional video for the robots a natator notes: “We’re using technology to focus on tasks that are repeatable, predictable and manual, freeing up associates to spend more time doing what they do best: serving you.”
Retailers are increasingly relying on automated services in their back rooms, distribution centres and supply chain, however, Walmart is keen to stress that the human element remains very important to them.
Walmart has already begun using technology to automate processes such as grocery pickups, however, whether or not the shelf-scanning robots will be used across all its stores, will hinge on the success of the trial.
Jim Donald appointed the CEO of Albertsons
Donald, who previously worked as the company...
The Idaho-based grocery chain, Albertsons, has appointed Jim Donald as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Donald, who previously worked as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, will keep his presidential role.
The new CEO will replace Bob Miller, who will continue in his position as Chairman of the Board.
“Jim Donald has built an exceptional career in retail,” remarked Bob Miller.
“His knowledge of our company and industry is unmatched, and I know his contributions will be invaluable as we enter the next chapter of Albertsons Companies.”
“We look forward to tapping his experience in leading large consumer brands as we work every day to meet our customers’ needs, both in-store and online.”
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In his career, Donald has held positions such as the CEO of Starbucks and the CEO of Pathmark Stores.
The newly-appoint CEO also worked for Albertsons for 15 years, starting 1976, becoming the Vice President of Operations in Arizona.
“Albertsons Companies is uniquely positioned to operate in both a 'four walls' traditional environment and the 'no walls' world of technology,” stated Jim Donald.
“We serve 34 million customers each week across our 2,300-plus stores and serve 5.5 million patients in our 1,700-plus pharmacies.”
“That's a significant food, health and wellness footprint. We're well positioned to serve the evolving needs of today's customer, wherever and whenever they choose to shop with us.”
“I am looking forward to leading this dynamic company as we focus on innovation and customer-centric retailing in all its forms.”