In Stuttgart’s Heusteig district, start-up Smark opened a fully automated convenience store under the name Roberta Goods. Robotics from Smark and smart shelf solutions from Bizerba enable customers to shop unattended around the clock. The assortment consists of around 300 items. Fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods, and beverages come mainly from regional and local production. Specially compiled cooking boxes, so-called combos, simplify customers’ choices.Fledgling Stuttgart-based company Smark has been offering various prototypes for automated stores since 2017. The technology is also behind the Typy supermarket in Düsseldorf’s Medienhafen by former Tank&Rast manager Carlo Caldi. As Retail Optimiser reported, the entrepreneur plans to open 200 of these stores in Germany within three years. Caldi is also involved in the financing of Smark through Campo Group, an investment company specialising in digitalisation.
A precise weighing system automatically detects when and which product is taken from the shelf. This information is automatically forwarded to the ordering system. If stock falls below certain minimum levels, the system sends a message directly to the responsible employee. Permanent digital stock monitoring also helps to optimise demand planning. This way, customers should always find fresh fruit, vegetables, and pastries.