Grocery robot workers coming to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Robots that move like a Roomba will help Schnuck Markets with pricing and inventory. The leading St. Louis grocer is expanding its partnership with a San Francisco robotics company called Simbe Robotics.

The new aisle-scanning robots will roll out into four more stores in December. Schnucks began using the Tally robots earlier this year in Ballwin, Des Peres, Webster Groves, and Chesterfield.

The robots will continue working at those stores. New ones will join the staff at stores in Granite City, Twin Oaks, Florissant, and Spanish Lake.

The robot is equipped with cameras and sensors. The bots main function is to perform inventory checks. The Tally can also alert employees when an item needs restocking or if price tags don’t match advertisements.

Tally is intended to help groceries save money and prevent lagging spots in the store. It checks for repeated areas for restocking, obsolete promo tags, places that haven’t stocked in days, wrong stocking location, wrong prices, and places where there are items in-stock but not on the shelves. It can read all kinds of price tags, even bar codes.

Tally is also intended to help with liability. In some parts of the United States, stores are required to honor the price displayed. Errors can leave customers frustrated and leave the store with a profit loss.

“We are extremely impressed with the quality and accuracy of the information Tally yields and the imminent opportunity for our clients to garner deeper insights on store conditions and improve the consumer’s shopping experience” said David Cortese, the president of Digital Technology.

Competition for groceries is higher than ever. According to the IHL Group, over 24% of Amazon’s current retail revenue comes from customers who first tried to buy the product in-store.