Hy-Vee Inc. has teamed up with Simbe Robotics to introduce the latter’s autonomous inventory management and retail intelligence solution, Tally, to stores in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri, with the goal of enhancing the in-store experience for customers and store teams alike.
Described by Simbe as the world’s first fully autonomous in-store product auditing solution, Tally scans tens of thousands of products across grocery and health-and-wellness aisles up to three times per day to ensure that products are in stock, in the right location and correctly priced. The robot provides retailers with actionable insights that can reduce out-of-stocks by as much as 30% while freeing up associates to focus on such tasks as helping customers.
“Hy-Vee has a strong reputation for excellent customer service and an employee-first culture,” noted Luke Tingley, the company’s SVP and CIO. “By employing Tally, we can continue providing that excellent service by reducing out-of-stocks and empowering our store teams with real-time insights to ensure the best customer experience across the board.”
By gaining greater visibility into store conditions, Tally helps streamline operations and enables retailers to make more informed business decisions such as more accurate order forecasting and optimizing the store layout to support sales. This rich data, combined with the solution’s plug-and-play software platform and APIs, offers insights into the state of a retailer’s stores, giving employees real-time recommendations to improve operations and increase customer satisfaction.
Tally requires no infrastructure changes to the store environment to operate effectively and is designed to be unobtrusive to shoppers. It strategically navigates store aisles during normal store hours, safely maneuvering amid customers and associates.
“No other retail solution supports store teams the way Tally does,” said Brad Bogolea, CEO and co-founder of San Francisco-based Simbe. “The pandemic truly created a ‘new normal’ for grocery that has illuminated the need for a greater frequency and fidelity of in-store data. Hy-Vee is the perfect example of thoughtfully adopting technology to improve the store experience for both customers and their teams. As retailers face a growing number of considerations, Tally provides a cost-effective solution that ensures they can continue to provide excellent customer service and create a valuable, more enjoyable working environment for their employees.”
Tally robots are already deployed at Hy-Vee stores in Ankeny, Iowa, and Lincoln, Neb., and will roll out to locations in Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Omaha, Neb.; and Altoona, Iowa, in the next few weeks.
Last month, Schnuck Markets Inc. introduced Tally at all 111 of the grocer’s locations across four states, making it the first grocer in the world to employ AI-powered inventory management technology at scale. Earlier this year, Save Mart embarked on a pilot of the robots at seven stores.
Employee-owned Hy-Vee has a team of 86,000 employees and operates more than 280 retail stores across eight Midwestern states, with sales of $11 billion annually. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 34 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Based in Modesto, Calif., The Save Mart Cos., operating 204 retail stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky/Lucky California and FoodMaxx, is No. 49 on PG’s list, while St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets Inc., with more than 111 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, employs 13,000 associates and is No. 64.