February 12, 2024

Midwest convenience chain J&H Family Stores deploys cleaning robots

Cobi 18, robotic floor scrubber, cleaning at convenience store

J & H Family Stores is streamlining some manual store tasks with automated robotic scrubbers.

The West Michigan-based regional convenience retailer is rolling out six ICE Cobotics Cobi 18 compact robotic floor scrubbers across its stores. The Cobi 18 robots are designed to clean 5,000 to 7,000 square feet of floor space per hour and can be deployed multiple times per day to clean floors.

The subscription-based robots are designed for small spaces and to navigate tight aisles and around moving and stationary objects. They can navigate next to glass and windows and detect when cooler doors are open. 

With this rollout, J&H Family Stores intends to improve the workday for store employees by supporting them with automation to perform repetitive and stress-inducing cleaning work, freeing store associates up to focus on providing optimal customer service, stocking coolers and shelves, and making fresh food products for customers.

"Partnering with ICE Cobotics to bring autonomous cleaning into our stores has been a huge success," said Loren Hoppen, COO of J&H Family Stores.

"It has helped improve customer experience, employee retention, and labor expenses within the stores. Having the Cobi machine in the stores has allowed our team members to spend more time with customers and improve customer experience. J&H Family Stores is excited to continue partnering with ICE Cobotics on ever more locations in the future." 

"It is exciting to collaborate with J&H Family Stores as they embrace innovation with the deployment of ICE Cobotics’ Cobi 18," said Mike DeBoer, president of ICE Cobotics, N.A.

“J&H has seamlessly integrated Cobi into their stores and is seeing immediate benefits as they enhance staff satisfaction, alleviate mundane tasks, and prioritize customer service. Cobi's affordable, all-inclusive subscription model ensures hassle-free adoption and provides access to confirmed clean data to help ensure a clean and safe environment."

J&H Family Stores is not the only convenience retailer to utilize ICE Cobotics Cobi 18 robots to automate previously manual floor cleaning tasks. Regional Southeastern convenience retailer RaceTrac, Iowa-based, family-owned convenience store chain Kum & Go, as well as convenience/fuel chain Phillips 66, are utilizing the autonomous floor scrubbers in select store locations.

Cobi is available through an all-inclusive subscription that includes service, parts, consumables, and technology updates at no additional charge. 

J&H Family Stores, a fuel and convenience store chain headquartered in Wyoming, Mich., has been family-owned and operated since 1969 and operates more than 75 stores. J & H Oil Company supplies nearly 120 retail sites, 50 of which are company-operated.

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