Schnucks Markets announced yesterday that they would be the world's first grocery store chain to introduce AI-powered robots to enhance operations and the customer experience.

The plan by the St. Louis based grocery company would see all 111 of their stores having robots in-store within a few years, as they've already successfully tested out the robots in over 50 of their stores. The "Tally" robot(s), made by Simbe Robotics, look like this:

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images

For those who worry about a future where robots take over the world and make us their slaves, or worse, decide to eliminate all humanity, I wouldn't sweat the Tally robots all that much. No opposable thumbs, let alone arms, would make it rather difficult to achieve global domination, I'm guessing.

What Makes These Robots Appealing To A Grocery Store Chain?

Going back to the lack of arms and thumbs, I wouldn't imagine that these robots would be all that helpful when it comes to stocking shelves or bagging groceries. Can't reach something on a high shelf? Don't bother asking the robot for help. So what do they bring to the table that makes Schnucks and others want to get them in their stores as fast as they can?

According to the Schnucks announcement, Tally traverses store aisles up to three times per day and autonomously captures on-shelf data including inventory position, price accuracy, and promotional execution. Schnucks says other benefits include:

  • Detecting 14x more addressable out-of-stocks than manual scans
  • Enabled 20-30 percent reduction in out-of-stock items
  • Increased price tag and promotional execution compliance in stores across tens of thousands of products per day
  • Increased accuracy of real-time inventory integrated into Schnucks’ automated replenishment system, streamlining ordering and ensuring store shelves are restocked quicker to meet customer needs
  • Delivered access to real-time product location data through the Schnucks Rewards app, enabling more efficient shopping trips for customers, restocking and fulfillment activities for store teams, and 3rd party e-commerce partners

Take a look at Tally in action:

10 Reasons Why Rockford Pizza Is The Best Pizza


50 Famous Brands That No Longer Exist

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5