Central Food Retail unveils in-store AI service robots

Central Food Retail unveils in-store AI service robots

Ms Sujita promotes the Temjai AI service robots at Central Food Hall in CentralWorld. Apichart Jinakul
Ms Sujita promotes the Temjai AI service robots at Central Food Hall in CentralWorld. Apichart Jinakul

Central Food Retail Co, operator of Tops Supermarket, Food Hall and Tops Daily, has introduced an AI service robot to offer convenience to consumers and as a part of the company's efforts to adapt to the new normal lifestyle.

Chief executive Stephane Coum said the company has collected data on customer behaviour over the past two years since the start of the pandemic, and found that the Covid-19 situation has changed their behaviour and daily lives, resulting in a new normal lifestyle.

Customers are found to have planned their purchases in advance in order to reduce time spent in stores, and they care about social distancing, contactless activities and minimum interactions with people in the stores, he said.

"In our bid to adapt to these new shopping behaviours, we decided to introduce 'Temjai', an AI service robot, to serve our customers as the first supermarket in Thailand. We hope that our AI service robots will offer a unique and fun customer experience, increasing sales opportunities for brands,'' said Mr Coum, adding that the robots will also help store staff and lift Tops' and Central Food Hall's image as a leading supermarket brand that recognises the importance of finding innovative ways to introduce new experiences to customers.

Sujita Phengoun, chief operating officer-large format, said Temjai AI service robots were first used at Central Food Hall Chidlom in October and are now available at 13 Tops Market and Central Food Hall stores nationwide.

The company expects to install a total of 21 Temjai AI robots at Tops Market and Central Food Hall stores in Bangkok and Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Chon Buri, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, Phuket, Khon Kaen and Nakhon Ratchasima by the end of this year. The total investment is 7 million baht.

The AI service robot will provide two main modes. It helps promote products such as promotional items and new products. Each store can select what products they want to feature based on the timing. This helps increase sales opportunities and customers will not miss special price items. The robot can also hand out product samples to customers so they can try promotional products.

In addition, the robot can also help lead customers to where they want to go. Customers can select the zone that they want to visit, making it easier for them to find what they are looking for and save time.

"Having AI robot technology to offer services is part of the company's digital transformation to become an innovative supermarket,'' Mr Coum said, adding that other interesting innovations will facilitate customers and offer a seamless shopping experience.

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