February 14, 2024

J&H Family Stores adds floor-cleaning robots

Cobi 18, autonomous floor scrubber, cleaning convenience store

Dive Brief:

  • J&H Oil Company, which operates more than 50 J&H Family Stores in West Michigan, has tapped cleaning technology company Ice Cobotics to deploy six floor-cleaning robots across its convenience store network, according to a company announcement.
  • J&H is using Ice Cobotics’ battery-operated Cobi 18 floor scrubber, which can run up to 90 minutes on one charge and can clean 5,000 to 7,000 square feet per hour.
  • Ice Cobotics, which is based in Zeeland, Michigan, has continued to establish its presence in the U.S. c-store landscape since arriving on the scene nearly two years ago.

Dive Insight:

Ice Cobotics made its U.S. convenience store debut in October 2022 when it launched the Cobi 18 at Phillips 66’s 7,000-plus branded fuel locations. A few months later, the company deployed its floor-cleaning robots across Kum & Go’s entire footprint, and brought the technology to RaceTrac’s network of travel centers last September.

With hiring and retention continuing to present challenges for c-stores, Ice Cobotics’ technology can help retailers optimize their employees’ experience by letting them focus on tasks outside of cleaning floors.

“It has helped improve customer experience, employee retention and labor expenses within the stores,” Loren Hoppen, chief operating officer for J&H Family Stores, said in the announcement. “Having the Cobi machine in the stores has allowed our team members to spend more time with customers.”

The scrubbers also let retailers track their “clean score” through a mobile app to see how the machine has performed with various routes. Users only need to set the floor scrubbing route once, and the machine will know to follow that path from then on. 

Retailers who subscribe to Ice Cobotics’ Cobi 18 receive service, parts, consumables and technology updates at no additional charge. 

Founded in 1969, Wyoming, Michigan-based J&H Oil Company supplies fuel to about 120 retail sites, including the more than 50 c-stores it owns. The company also has nearly 20 Subway restaurants and four Tim Hortons locations in its network.

You can read the original article here.

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