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BJ’s Rolls Out AI-Driven Robot to Stores Across Its Footprint

Partnership with Simbe Robotics brings Tally to retailer’s aisles
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
BJ's Tally
Tally will help BJ's associates ensure products are in stock, shelved appropriately and accurately priced.

In an effort to get greater visibility into club conditions and gain deeper business insights, BJ’s Wholesale Club is rolling out Simbe Roboticsbusiness intelligence solution Tally across its 237-store footprint. Tally is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and will ultimately help improve operational efficiencies and enhance the overall shopping experience.

Tally rolls down club aisles multiple times per day and leverages AI and computer vision technology to collect shelf data and help ensure products are in stock, shelved correctly and accurately priced. The autonomous robot will allow BJ’s associates to refocus more of their time toward other tasks and helping customers. 

[Read more: "Wakefern Partners With Simbe Robotics to Test Tally"]

“We are excited to collaborate with Simbe to bring their industry-leading technology and platform to our clubs,” said Jeff Desroches, EVP and COO at BJ’s. “By deploying Tally in all of our club locations, we will gain unprecedented insights which will leverage real-time data, enabling us to continuously improve our operation and ensure that we’re offering the best possible experience to both our team members and members.”

The real-time data provided by Tally will give greater visibility into inventory tracking and also unlock efficiencies that enable faster product restocking. It will also help BJ’s associates and customers quickly locate products. Additionally, data captured by Tally can be virtually reviewed to ensure optimal club conditions and accurate merchandising execution.

“BJ’s Wholesale Club and its executive leadership are committed to providing the best experience possible for both team and club members, and our platform unlocks actionable data that will take that mission to the next level,” said Simbe CEO Brad Bogolea. “Our team has partnered with BJ’s to refine our computer vision technology to accommodate the unique layout and product assortment in a warehouse club. By leveraging Tally to automate inventory tracking, BJ’s will gain transformative visibility that will inform decisions, improve operations, and provide even greater value to members.”

Meanwhile, BJ’s hit its stride in the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2022, marking myriad records with continued club growth, comparable club sales and all-time high renewal rates. As it expanded its footprint to new states and market areas, BJ’s also surpassed $1 billion in adjusted EBITDA for the first time in the company’s history.

The club retailer will enter two new states when it cuts the ribbon on stores near Nashville and Huntsville, Ala., later this year, and additional store openings are planned for Johnson City, N.Y., Lewis Center, Ohio, and North Jacksonville, Fla. BJ's anticipates opening approximately 10 new clubs per year for the foreseeable future.

Marlborough, Mass.-based BJ's operates more than 230 clubs, 160-plus BJ’s Gas locations and seven distribution centers in 18 states. The company is No. 26 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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