Walmart Canada Expands AI Partnership

Walmart Canada's partnership with Focal Systems allows the retailer to manage low- and out-of-stock private label items more efficiently.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Walmart Canada

Walmart Canada is bringing AI technology to stores throughout the country following a successful pilot program at 70 stores.

First covered by Store Brands’ sister publication Progressive Grocer, the partnership with software company Focal Systems will help the retailer detect low-stock or out-of-stock products in real time. Focal Systems’ solution is integrated with Walmart Canada’s existing inventory systems to automatically detect availability concerns and direct store teams to replenish products.

“We know it can be disappointing for customers when we don’t have products they want available on our shelves. That’s why we initiated this pilot using technology from Focal Systems that takes the guesswork out of knowing when a product is out of stock,” said Robin DeMers, Director of Store Optimization for Walmart Canada. “This leading-edge technology provides real-time, automated alerts for replenishment in key priority areas within our stores. It also empowers our associates with cool tech that makes a big difference in the way they are able to work and provide the best possible customer experience.”

Walmart Canada is one of the first in the country to deploy this type of AI technology for on-shelf availability. Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide serving 1.5 million customers each day.

"With this bold step, Walmart is driving this industry forward in AI-adoption and retail automation, challenging the status-quo on availability, customer experience, and employee satisfaction,” said Francois Chaubard, CEO of Burlingame, Calif.-based Focal Systems. “Walmart is raising the bar, and we are inspired to help in any way we can. Focal is thrilled to be a key part of Walmart's store digitization efforts nationwide!"