A shopper wears a mask while shopping at a Walmart store in North Brunswick, New Jersey on July 20, 2020.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters
With some Walmart Shops, robots roamed the retail space and helped check that the shelves were full. But the big box retailer has now decided to end its contract with the robotics company behind these machines after discovering people are noisy a report from The Wall Street Journal.
The report, which named unnamed people familiar with the situation, said Walmart recently cut ties with Bossa Nova Robotics. A Walmart spokesman said The diary that about 500 robots were in Walmarts more than 4,700 stores when the contract ended.
Walmart saw significant growth during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans buy toilet paper, canned food, puzzles, and more. The company’s online sales almost doubled in the second quarterwhen consumers were shipping their purchases to their homes and picking them up on the side of the road. This poses a new challenge for the big box retailer: they quickly replenish the shelves and make sure they have the right inventory.
In a recent interview on CNBCs “Squawk box“Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, said sporadic out-of-stocks are still an issue. He said if he could change anything about Walmart’s business it would be” even more inventory. “
According to the diaryIn its report, Walmart developed simple and inexpensive ways to manage the products on its shelves with the help of its employees rather than the robots. The report said John Furner, US chief executive at Walmart, was also concerned about shoppers’ reactions to the robots.
However, Walmart is pushing other technology-based experiments. Last week the retailer said it would Turn four stores into e-commerce labs this is testing digital tools and various strategies that could speed up shelf replenishment and online order fulfillment.