Walmart ramps up tech investments
Walmart is ramping up its technology investments in its bricks-and-mortar stores.
The company announced the launch of new “smart assistants,” which will not make the stores not only run more efficiently but also limit the time an associate spends on the more mundane and repetitive tasks like cleaning floors or checking inventory on a shelf, according to the company.
New “smart assistant” technology includes:
- Auto -C: Can be programmed to travel throughout the open parts of the store, leaving behind a clean, polished floor
- Auto-S: which scans items on store shelves to help ensure availability, correct shelf location and price accuracy
- FAST unloaders: Working with the shelf scanner, it automatically scans and sorts items unloaded from trucks based on priority and department.
- Pickup Towers: A customer places an order online and selects for an in-store pickup. The associate loads the ordered item into the Pickup Tower. When a customer receives a notification via email that the item is available, they can use the Pickup Tower like a giant vending machine to retrieve their purchase.
“Our associates immediately understood the opportunity for the new technology to free them up from focusing on tasks that are repeatable, predictable and manual, “said John Crecelius, senior vice president of Central Operations for Walmart U.S. “It allows them time to focus more on selling merchandise and serving customers, which they tell us have always been the most exciting parts of working in retail.”