|19 September, 2019

Meet Tally: Will UAE's new robot take a toll on retail jobs?

Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim Retail has employed Tally robot at its Carrefour supermarket in Mall of the Emirates

Meet Tally, The Newest Member of Carrefour’s Mall of the Emirates Family

Meet Tally, The Newest Member of Carrefour’s Mall of the Emirates Family

Majid Al Futtaim / Handout via Zawya

Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim Retail has employed Tally, an armless robot, at its Carrefour supermarket in Mall of the Emirates.

According to the company, Tally is 30 percent more accurate than human workers, raising the much-needed standards in real-time inventory management.

The robot scans items on the shelves and is required to report to the back office, highlighting discrepancies in displayed items.

It is the first robot to work for a retailer in the region, weighs up to 14kg, 163cm tall and glides softly up and down the aisles around curious shoppers.

Philippe Peguilhan, Country Manager of Carrefour UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail said: "We have already seen a 30% increase in accuracy when it comes to scanning items on the shelves, and we are very excited for what else is to come.”

The robot works in three shifts of three-hours each and scans the shelves using artificial intelligence to provide real-time insights on missing, misplaced, unmarked, and incorrectly priced items, before alerting store managers at Carrefour to fix the issue.

The slender robot is also embedded with cameras and sensors enabling it to avoid obstacles while roaming the store.

Tally could bring about a revolution into the world of business if you consider for a moment that the retail industry loses close to one trillion dollars per year on account of poor inventory management.

Image supplied by Majid Al Futtaim

According to Forbes magazine, about 25 percent of Amazon’s revenue is estimated to come from consumers who have first tried to find a product in a physical store—and failed.

Tally is developed by San Francisco-based Simbe Robotics who have already announced a $26 million Series A funding round, led by Venrock with participation from Future Shape, Valo Ventures, and Activant Capital.

Simultaneously, Softbank Robotics America and Simbe revealed they are expanding their collaboration to include inventory financing. This will help Simbe increase its production to an additional 1,000 robots over the next two years.

As retailers rush towards raising efficiency in supply chains with robotic stock checkers like Tally, what will happen to the jobs of millions of retail employees worldwide? Only future will tell.

(Writing by Mily Chakrabarty; editing by Seban Scaria)

mily.chakrabarty@refintiv.com

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© ZAWYA 2019

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