Tally robots seek to free up store associates to focus on customers in Giant Eagle stores

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Food retailer and distributor Giant Eagle has unveiled a pilot program with automation technology provider Simbe Robotics to deploy an autonomous shelf auditing and inventory analytics platform called Tally in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Akron areas.

​Tally allows store associates to focus on customers instead of taking inventory by making sure that products are on shelves when and where customers expect them to be.

“When it comes to the food retail industry, shopper experience is everything. If a product is unavailable at the time our customer wants to buy it, we’ve missed an opportunity and disappointed our customer,” explains Giant Eagle spokesperson Jannah Jablonowski.

“Tally helps us address these challenges by providing more precise and timely analysis of the state of in-store merchandise and freeing up staff to focus on customer service and guest interaction.”

During the pilot program with Giant Eagle, Tally sends detailed data reports to store teams every 30 minutes that capture, report, and analyze the state and availability of merchandise. With these reports, retail teams can focus on controllable out-of-stock and pricing situations, while optimizing each store’s product layout.

Requiring no infrastructure change to a store for its operations, Tally can audit shelves “more frequently, and significantly faster than existing processes, and with near-perfect accuracy,” the companies say. The robot operates safely during normal store hours alongside shoppers and employees.

Giant Eagle has “unprecedented information and insight” into the state of its stores thanks to Tally’s cloud-powered software platform and API. With this information, store performance can be streamlined, sales can increase, and operational expenditures can be reduced. 

“With Tally, Giant Eagle can leverage actionable data about what’s happening on shelves,” says Simbe CEO and cofounder, Brad Bogolea.

“Tally’s insights add immense value to Giant Eagle customers by improving their overall in-store experience, and to store teams by empowering them with frequent, accurate inventory information.”