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Data-gathering robot to monitor BJ's store aisles

New robot to roam aisles at BJ's stores
New robot to roam aisles at BJ's stores 00:20

MARLBORO - Shoppers at every BJ's store will soon notice something new in the aisles: A robot.

The members-only retailer based in Marlboro announced that "Tally" will roam the store to collect data about what's on the shelves. It will use artificial intelligence to check stocking levels, price accuracy and whether everything is in the right place. BJ's said this will help with restocking and let employees focus on customer service.

"By deploying Tally in all of our club locations, we will gain unprecedented insights which will leverage real-time data, enabling us to continuously improve our operation and ensure that we're offering the best possible experience to both our team members and members," BJ's chief operations officer Jeff Desroches said in a statement.

Tally is made by San Francisco-based Simbe Robotics and will be deployed to all 237 BJ's stores. 

Tally the robot at a BJ's store BJ's Wholesale Club

"Tally's design is intuitive, friendly, and fits naturally into the retail environment," the company said in a statement. "The robot scans entire stores up to three times per day and autonomously returns to its dock allowing for continuous operation."

Massachusetts shoppers are no strangers to robots in stores. In 2019, Stop & Shop rolled out a googly-eyed robot named Marty that is also used to check inventory and alert staff to spills.

A union that represents Stop & Shop workers said at the time that the "aggressive expansion of automation in grocery and retail stores is a direct threat to the millions of American workers who power these industries and the customers they serve."

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