The Bossa Nova/Walmart Fallout: What to Know

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4Q 2020 | IN-5992


A Parting of Ways


As reported throughout the U.S. robotics industry, Walmart cut its partnership with fledgling automation vendor Bossa Nova, whose robots provide inventory tracking for Walmart stores as well as offering a range of broadly termed “value-added services” through the use of creating planograms for optimizing stock. The stated rationale was that humans were perfectly able to do stock keeping and inventory to the level Walmart required. There are suggestions that Walmart was concerned about human-robot interaction and the customer experience.

The year 2020 has been a challenging year for retailers, and many are rethinking their technology roadmaps in the wake of the virus. The Walmart/Bossa Nova project was limited, being rolled out in 7% of Walmart’s stores. While the plan was to deploy 1,000 systems, around 500 were actually deployed. Bossa Nova is the latest in the line of vendors that have entered what has derogatively been called the Walmart technology graveyard, another example being the machine vision vendor Everseen.

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