BJs, Michaels, H-E-B, and Hibbett Retail Invest in Transformative Digital Innovation

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
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Massive technology investments across the retail space indicate that today’s companies are pushing forward on their innovation plans despite economic headwinds and a volatile environment. BJs, Michaels, H-E-B, and Hibbett Retail are the latest enterprises to undergo significant digital transformations. 

Here’s a look at their recent investments:


Tally robot

BJs has invested in an artificial intelligence-powered inventory robot that will increase its visibility into chainwide operations and club conditions, providing valuable business insights that will allow it to improve operational efficiencies and elevate the member experience. 

The company has partnered with Simbe to launch the business intelligence platform, Tally, which navigates aisles autonomously multiple times per day, leveraging computer vision to collect shelf data and determining which items need stocking and if products are priced and shelved appropriately. 

The data gathered is available for associate review virtually. 

Jeff Desroches, executive vice president and chief operations officer of BJ’s Wholesale Club, said that by deploying Tally across its footprint, BJs will gain “unprecedented insights which will leverage real-time data, enabling us to continuously improve our operation and ensure that we’re offering the best possible experience to both our team members and members.”



Arts and crafts retailer Michaels is elevating its e-commerce capabilities by integrating its in-house Seller Portal with tech that will allow it to continue to grow and scale its expanded assortment with more qualified sellers, offering supplier onboarding tools and tapping into an API for a streamlined experience with its brand partners. 

The investment is allowing Michaels to scale its product assortment, generate increased awareness across its network, and support the expansion of its marketplace. The company is working with CommerceHub so sellers can seamlessly onboard to once accepted.

Consumers will be able to access this new marketplace, which includes an assortment of over 750,000 new items featuring new sellers across categories like candle, soapmaking, leather and woodwork, baking, tools, and more.

"Our marketplace aims to deliver not only an expanded assortment of the high-quality products our customers are looking for in a seamless shopping experience, but also a best-in-class experience for our gated set of marketplace sellers," said Jason Brenner, senior vice president at Michaels. 

He added that the technology provides "valuable integration tools and services that supplement our full-service seller portal and direct APIs, enabling a smooth onboarding for high-quality marketplace sellers to list their products and sell on"


Grocery retailer H-E-B is rolling out QR code technology and branded displays across more than 300 of its stores in Texas. By scanning the code, consumers will be able to find local pet services as they shop, including dog walking, grooming, pet sitting, training, and more. 

[H-E-B Named Top Preferred U.S. Grocery Retailer]

H-E-B has partnered with home management platform Thumbtack, which will also be providing an on-demand home services capability in select stores. This will allow shoppers to find local handymen, lawn care, and cleaning services while receiving a 10% discount. 

Hibbett Retail

Footwear company Hibbett Retail is tapping into cloud technology to upgrade its mobile POS systems and elevate inventory management. Additionally, the retailer is also investing in cloud tech that will allow it to improve customer engagement. 

Through these investments with Oracle, Hibbett will be able to more accurately view available merchandise across several channels, view a customer’s past purchases to recommend new styles, improve shipping flexibility to adjacent stores and customer homes, and more. 

Tim Boggess, VP of strategy, innovation and store technology for Hibbett Retail, said the technology will allow the retailer to deliver an increased level of personalization at scale. 

"We can tap into the continuous delivery model of the cloud and reduce our investments in data centers," said Ron Blahnik, SVP and CIO for Hibbett Retail, in a statement. "The additional IT capacity allows us to focus more energy on supporting our business needs as we extend our market reach and customer expectations continue to grow and evolve." 

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