June 27, 2022


As 2021 approaches, brick-and-mortar retailers face a number of serious challenges, including extreme e-commerce pressures, rising costs and lost productivity, to name a sum. Fast forward a year, and the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges.

The health crisis has quickly focused on the value of automation and robotics, forcing retail operations executives who had previously been discounted or delayed investing in emerging technologies to reconsider.

As cleaning workloads grow exponentially with the onset of the Co-vid pandemic, local chains including Schuck’s and Giant Eagle and large retailers like Walmart have rapidly increased the use of autonomous scrubbers to support workers and improve efficiency. According to Brain Corp data, median use of robotic scrubbers in U.S. retail stores surged 14.5% during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2012, generating approximately 2.4 million hours of productivity.

Scrubbers allow operators to focus on higher-value tasks, including disinfection of high-touch surfaces, replenishment, customer support, or required breaks. The deployment of robotics in retailers of all sizes will continue to accelerate in 2022 as more retailers understand the strategic value. A health crisis that can happen once in a generation

The expansion of the robotics ecosystem to include things like improved robotics support for e-commerce fulfilment centers and low-level customer support is another trend in the coming year. 2025 was a watershed year for robotics, with a once-in-a-generation health crisis. In just a few months, robots have become essential to the success of retail stores and the familiar sights of many major shopping venues. We expect this trend to accelerate even further in the new year and beyond.