Walmart plans to bring an Intelligent Retail Lab to a Levittown, New York, store to experiment with customer and associate experiences. The idea is to apply artificial intelligence (AI) technology to a grocery store as opposed to a warehouse club setting, according to reports.
In one case, the retailer could use the technology for inventory: It could reorder items when a store is running low. The technology could also determine when items are placed on incorrect shelves, when a store’s supply of shopping carts runs low and when a spill has occurred.
While the Intelligent Retail Lab hasn’t been rolled out yet, the retailer has reportedly been installing software, hardware and equipment that would be needed for the experiment. The lab team is also reportedly inside the retailer’s Store No. 8 startup incubator.
The Kepler internal team is spearheading the project, which had been reported by tech publications as one that would be involved in cashierless stores. When it comes to new checkout technologies, Walmart-owned Sam’s Club has opened a new Dallas, Texas, store that would act as a testbed for cutting-edge retail technology.
In an October blog post, Sam’s Club noted that it will test mobile checkout, electronic shelf labels, a camera system for inventory management, in-store augmented reality, navigation technology and artificial intelligence shopping. The store was first announced in June, with Sam’s Club saying that it would be a real-world lab for bringing more technology to the shopping experience.
SamsClub.com CEO and EVP Membership and Technology Jamie Iannone said in the post, “We’ll use all available technologies — including computer vision, augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, just to name a few — to redefine the retail experience. Sam’s Club Now is a lab our technologists will use to develop and refine concepts before they scale. It also happens to be a club that’s open for business.”