Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV said Jan. 15 Retail Business Services, subsidiary of the Dutch retailer's U.S. unit, partnered with Jabil Inc.'s Badger Technologies to deploy nearly 500 robots across its U.S.-based Stop & Shop and Giant Martin's locations.
The robots, named Marty, will improve in-store efficiencies and safety by helping find hazards such as liquid, powder and bulk food item spills, and flag them for remedies.
Marty will be rolled out in the store chains following a period of testing, with the deployment expected to continue until the early part of 2019.
Ahold Delhaize said the other brands of its U.S. arm will continue testing autonomous robots in select stores.
The deployment of robots adds to the list of upgrades that the company is rolling out to improve operations and customer experience in stores and online.
The retailer's Albert Heijn supermarket chain opened its first checkout-free stores in September 2018. After two months, Ahold Delhaize unveiled plans to test small automated warehouses attached to stores in the U.S., according to a Reuters report.
Most recently, Ahold Delhaize units Delhaize Le Lion and bol.com b.v. announced a partnership to improve the company's omnichannel offering in Belgium.