Vallarta Supermarkets is partnering with Kentucky-based Badger Technologies to deploy six multipurpose autonomous robots at stores throughout California. Five of the robots will help identify hazards at stores in Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, while a sixth robot will assist with inventory management.
Following an initial test with Badger Technologies, Vallarta Supermarkets decided to move ahead with a larger pilot. The robots can detect spills of liquids, powders or bulk-item foods and alert store associates via the store’s public-address system and mobile pulse alerts.
“The robot gives us another pair of eyes to be more proactive in pinpointing spills and debris,” said Suzanne Wong, director of operational excellence at Vallarta Supermarkets. “The result is heightened awareness among our staff and customers that we place a big priority on store safety and cleanliness. Other benefits include improvements in customer service, labor efficiency and data for risk management.”
The sixth robot will be outfitted with Badger Retail InSight for automated detection of out-of-stock product inventory. Analytics and reporting software help generate a list of absent, misplaced or mispriced products, while dashboard data provides insights into customer buying trends and advertising promotion and product display performance.
“Providing our customers with a clean, safe environment is critical to our customers’ experience,” said Steve Netherton, CIO and VP of continuous improvement at Vallarta Supermarkets. “When we look at where to invest in innovative technologies, improving store operations is always a high priority. The Badger Technologies robots are helping us set new standards in store safety and cleanliness while ensuring a superlative shopping experience.”
“The opportunities to offload tedious but important floor inspections while gathering real-time data on product inventory makes a huge difference for retailers, especially as they grapple with continued labor shortages,” said William Santiago, CEO of Badger Technologies. “Our multipurpose autonomous robots offer much-needed relief by amplifying and extending staff operations while producing the data needed to improve customer satisfaction, storewide operations and retail revenues.”
Sylmar, Calif.-based, Vallarta Supermarkets is a full-service independent grocery chain with 53 locations throughout California. The company is No. 87 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.