Walmart added AI features to one of its store in Levittown, NY. The company said the new system would free up more time for their employees to help the customers. However, this would allow Walmart stores to operate with fewer employees in the future.
Walmart calls its new experiment the Intelligence Retail Lab. The 50,000 square-feet store is dressed to the teeth with AI technology.
The system can monitor 30,000 product and how long each product has stayed on the shelf, when the stock runs low, and even predict how much a particular item would be in high demand.
Instead constantly walking around the store to check, employees know when and how much product they needed to stock.
The AI system will send notifications through an internal app to remind them to restock the shelves.
“Customers can be confident about products being there, about the freshness of produce and meat. Those are the types of things that AI can really help with,” says Mike Hanrahan, CEO of IRL.
The store uses AI cameras and an in-store data center that can distinguish between a two-pound chicken thigh and chicken breast package.
Walmart hopes with less staff dedicated to shelf stocking, and inventory management, the store could free up more resources to help customers and keep the checkout lines short.
So far, Walmart does not have plans to make significant updates to its check out system.
Walmart also set up a welcome center to answer customer questions about the technology.
The store set up an interactive wall demonstrating how an AI system works. Customers can stand in front of the wall and the AI system will recreate a silhouette of their movements.