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The retailer is set to introduce inventory management robots at approximately 650 more stores by this summer, per Business Insider.
The technology, which is from tech startup Bossa Nova, roams a store’s aisles and scans shelves to identify products that are out-of-stock, mislabeled, or incorrectly priced, potentially improving a store’s operations and limiting the number of labor hours needed for inventory checking. While Walmart’s 5,358 total US stores significantly outnumber the 1,000 stores the technology will be present in, the tech has come a long way from when it was rolled out to 50 stores in 2017.
More providers of automated inventory management solutions are popping up, so the technology’s ability to quickly scale will be key to providers’ success. In addition to Bossa Nova’s technology, Zebra Technology recently launched a similar solution, called SmartSight, while there are other competitors like Simbe Robotics.
To attract merchants, providers will need to show they can quickly introduce their solutions to a new store and adapt to a particular location’s setup and needs.
Expanding to 1,000 Walmart locations may serve as a good test for Bossa Nova that could impress other merchants, and its partnership with NCR, which Bossa Nova cofounder and CTO Sarjoun Skaff told Business Insider Intelligence the company is bullish on, could help it do so since NCR has a significant international presence and helps it deploy its robots.
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