Robot in retail: How Majid Al Futtaim is leveraging automation to boost efficiency

October 10, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair

UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim has been at the forefront of using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation and computer vision to transform its operations and retail experiences. From deploying autonomous robots at Carrefour’s fulfilment centre in Ibn Batuta Mall to opening the region’s first scan-and-go convenience store in the Mall of the Emirates, the retailer has made significant progress in its digital transformation journey since they first embraced it five years ago.

“Majid Al Futtaim has collaborated with US-based eGrocery innovator Takeoff Technologies to bring the latest robotised picking technology to Carrefour, allowing up to 2,000 items to be picked per hour per automated fulfilment centre. This digitised storage picking technology automates managing orders, significantly reducing the processing time by up to 50%,” said Nalla Karunanithy, Chief Digital Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

“Additionally, Carrefour boasts a fleet of 12 more Tally Robots across its UAE hypermarkets to assist with stock management and control. Tally robots are equipped with cameras and sensors that make them capable of scanning up to 15,000 products three times a day. They are used for checking for any stock errors, such as out of stock items, price mismatch, wrong barcodes, or stock misplacement. These robots also assist with stock auditing using artificial intelligence, which reduces store workers’ workload, and crucially, mistakes,” he added.

Automation is necessary for optimizing retailers’ operational efficiency and driving consumer purchasing decisions, while also allowing store associates to fulfill their duties faster and focus on where they are needed most — with the shoppers. It can also reduce overhead, minimize touch, cut down on human error and speed up back office functions to keep floor activity rolling with better employee attention and focus.

“In a 2021 survey by Jabil, 73% of large retailers said the importance of using robotics in warehouses or distribution centres has increased due to factors that emerged during the pandemic. The importance of a seamless and contactless in-store shopping experience in the retail sector creates an incredible opportunity for our business to benefit from brand differentiation while building upon the trust of our customers,” he said.

With all of these technologies used within the stores, the question of ‘how much technology is too much’ could easily arise considering it may seem to be intrusive for shopping experiences and customer journeys. Nalla, however, disagrees.

“The question retailers must ask themselves is not how much technology is too much, but instead, how can we effectively harness new technologies to serve our customers better and uplift the customer experience?”

“Already, we see consumers increasingly expecting technology to integrate seamlessly throughout the shopping experience. While it is difficult to predict the endless possibilities this tech-forward world will create, we are preparing for a future where technological automation penetrates the retail landscape for the better,” he concluded.



Previous Article Next Article


UAE gears up to celebrate this year’s National Day celebrations in the 

Continue Reading

November 28, 2021 | By Zubina Ahmed

UAE-based Etisalat Group has signed an agreement with elGrocer, a leading online 

Continue Reading

November 18, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau announced that the 11.11 sale is back once again this year 

Continue Reading

November 8, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society’s COOP City store is now open in Lake 

Continue Reading

November 3, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Union Coop, a consumer cooperative in the UAE, revealed that 78% of 

Continue Reading

August 24, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley

Union Coop has opened its 23rd branch within the UAE in Jumeirah 

Continue Reading

August 2, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley

Nando’s has revealed their revamped Sheikh Zayed Road outlet where newcomers and 

Continue Reading

July 8, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley

UAE-based Al Maya Group announced that it will be boosting import of 

Continue Reading

June 24, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based grocery retail chain, Grandiose has opened its first hypermarket in Abu 

Continue Reading

June 2, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based Carrefour announced its theme and plans for Ramadan 2021. The brand 

Continue Reading

March 31, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Locally owned supermarket Spinneys celebrates 60 years of doing business in the 

Continue Reading

March 9, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau
Almarai, Carrefour, Emirates have the most loyal customers

UAE-based Carrefour will become the first retailer in the region to offer new levels 

Continue Reading

February 22, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Download Images RetailME Magazine