Decathlon SA and PAL Robotics yesterday announced that they have launched a global partnership. The sporting goods retailer had already rolled out PAL Robotics’ StockBot inventory tracking and data collection system across its stores in multiple countries. StockBot has improved in-store operations and efficiencies, freeing teammates to dedicate more time to improving the customer experience and product availability rates, said the companies.
“At PAL Robotics, we are delighted to be working with Decathlon, a long-established global retailer, to help them improve their inventory tracking and operations so they can focus more on customer experience,” stated Dr. Jordi Pagès, head of retail and intralogistics solutions at PAL Robotics.
“Our StockBot solution has been used in apparel, supermarkets, and distribution centers around the world, from Europe and Asia, to Oceania,” he said. “For us, it’s very important to work together with retailers to help them develop and update their processes so they can then focus on other benefits.”
Pal Robotics develops service robots
Many retailers are still lacking the tools to provide the best possible service and experience to their customers, claimed PAL Robotics.
In addition, management is not always aware of the complete picture in order to be able to implement changes and improvements to in-store operations, said the Barcelona-based company. These are just some of the reasons that are contributing to the rise in popularity of retail robots, acccording to PAL.
PAL Robotics said it has been helping leading retailers automate processes, strengthen customer relations, and stay competitive with service robots. Its offerings include the StockBot retail robot; the REEM-C, TALOS, TIAGo, and ARI humanoid robots; the SOLO 12 quadruped robot; and the TIAGo Base intralogistics solution.
The StockBot robot automates daily inventory tracking and provides data to inform decisions. The platform can provide accurate stock information to smartly manage stores, while seamlessly integrating with retailer’s systems, said PAL Robotics. The company added that the robot is easy to set up and use.
Decathlon selects StockBot
Founded in 1976, Decathlon is a multinational retailer with 1,714 stores in 61 countries. The Lille, France-based, family-owned company was looking for a solution to be able to provide accurate data on stock, as well as save time taken to do stock taking manually, affecting in-store efficiency and productivity.
StockBot is easily deployed within different stores because it does not require any layout modifications, said PAL Robotics. Decathlon was able to seamlessly integrate the mobile robot with existing software and RFID tags in store, it said.
StockBot reads and detects all the products in-store and then validates the data. The technology provides better visibility of stock and can automate inventory tracking and workflow, noted PAL Robotics. Once StockBot is set up, an employee can press one button, and the robot is able to do inventories automatically, saving time, it said.
Decathlon proves robot in Singapore
Decathlon Singapore first implemented StockBot in 2019. “For any retailer, ensuring that customers are visiting your store and will find the products they are looking for is crucial,” said Mathieu Blanchard, technical director of Decathlon Decathlon South East Asia.
“Before we had StockBot, stock-taking work was very laborious. It was very manual, and we allocated a lot of time to do our inventory,” noted Janice Morin, sports leader for trail running at Decathlon Singapore. “Now, it takes us two hours to finish all the inventory, and then we allocate our time to do other things like helping customers.”
Decathlon has also deployed PAL Robotics StockBots more recently in France, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Ireland, Italy, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia. Discussions are ongoing on further deployment opportunities in other countries, said the partners.