Grocery Chain Deploying Robots to All of Its Stores

GIANT Food Stores, LLC is deploying the robots in all 172 of its stores this year. They will move around the store unassisted and are being used to identify hazards such as liquid, powder, and bulk food items' spills and to provide reporting that enables quick corrective action.

Carlisle, Pa.-based GIANT Food Stores, LLC will deploy a new robotic assistant to all 172 of its GIANT and MARTIN's Food Markets, the company announced Jan. 14. Named "Marty" and described in the company's news release as "a tall gray robot with googly eyes," the robot will soon be working alongside associates, thanks to a partnership between Ahold Delhaize USA services company Retail Business Services, GIANT, and Jabil subsidiary Badger Technologies™.

The company said the move is being made after successful pilots that improved in-store efficiencies and freed employees up to better serve customers. During the past year, GIANT has been piloting Marty and the in-store robotic program in its stores located in Harrisburg and Carlisle, Pa.

"Bringing robotics and A.I. from a research lab to the sales floor has been a very exciting journey, and we were thrilled by the customer response in our pilot stores," said Nicholas Bertram, president of GIANT Food Stores. "Our associates have worked hard to bring this innovation to life with amazing partners."

The release said the robots will move around the store unassisted and are being used to identify hazards such as liquid, powder, and bulk food items' spills and to provide reporting that enables quick corrective action.

The company plans to deploy them in waves during the coming months, with expected completion by mid-2019. It operates stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia and employs nearly 30,000 associates.

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