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Vallarta Supermarkets Test Badger’s Autonomous Robots for Analytics

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June 8, 2022

Badger Technologies, which develops retail automation solutions, has announced a pilot program with Vallarta Supermarkets, a chain of 53 full-service markets throughout California. The grocery chain will test Badger’s multipurpose autonomous robots to identify hazards at five Vallarta Supermarkets in Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, as well as testing the robot’s inventory management at a sixth location in order to improve on-shelf product availability.

Founded in 1985, the Sylmar, Calif.-based Vallarta Supermarkets is one of the largest Latino supermarket chains in the state. It is also known for a highly trained staff eager to assist customers in selecting fresh produce, quality meats and bakery items, along with traditional and specialty food items from Mexico, Central and South America.

“Providing our customers with a clean, safe environment is critical to our customers’ experience,” said Steve Netherton, CIO and vice president of continuous improvement at Vallarta Supermarkets. “When we look at where to invest in innovative technologies, improving store operations is always a high priority. The Badger Technologies robots are helping us set new standards in store safety and cleanliness while ensuring a superlative shopping experience.”

Badger said the initial proof-of-concept for Vallarta featured a robot equipped with Badger’s Retail InSpect to complement existing manual floor inspections with automatic hazard detection. When the PoC exceeded expectations, the grocer implemented a five-store pilot to support them in identifying hazards, such as spills of liquids, powders or bulk-item foods, while potentially mitigating risks of slip-and-fall accidents.

BadgerVallarta VerticalHazard notifications are delivered by the robot to the store’s public-address system and mobile pulse alerts, Badger said. Images are collected and stored for a period for archival purposes. “The robot gives us another pair of eyes to be more proactive in pinpointing spills and debris,” said Suzanne Wong, director of operational excellence at Vallarta. “The result is heightened awareness among our staff and customers that we place a big priority on store safety and cleanliness. Other benefits include improvements in customer service, labor efficiency and data for risk management.”

For the sixth store, the company is testing a robot equipped with Retail InSight, for automated detection of out-of-stock product inventory. Cloud-based analytics and reporting software generate a list of absent, misplaced and/or mispriced products for issue remediation, Badger said. Data gives insights into customer buying trends, along with the performance of product displays and advertising promotions. The automated process also  helps Vallarta’s pricing departments by collaborating and prioritizing product restocking.

“The opportunities to offload tedious but important floor inspections while gathering real-time data on product inventory makes a huge difference for retailers, especially as they grapple with continued labor shortages,” said Willaim “BJ” Santiago, CEO of Badger Technologies. “Our multipurpose autonomous robots offer much-needed relief by amplifying and extending staff operations while producing the data needed to improve customer satisfaction, storewide operations and retail revenues.”

Badger said it has deployed almost 600 autonomous robots throughout the U.S. and Australia. The robots have traveled thousands of miles each year to keep shelves stocked, products priced correctly and floors clean, the company said.

For more details on the system, visit the Badger Technologies website here.


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