Shop robot builds fan base in Poland

  • December 5, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

More than 100 fan meetings are planned for a robot after it proved popular delivering Pepsi beverages and crisps in two Carrefour stores in Warsaw.

The grocery chain deployed the BellaBot smart delivery robots in September, since when they have been well received by consumers, winning over the hearts of many Polish shoppers.

The catlike robots are from Chinese firm Pudu Robotics and have been nicknamed Kerfuś. Because of their growing popularity, Carrefour announced in late October that roadshows and special fan meetings for Kerfuś will be organised in more than 100 Carrefour stores across Poland.

The deployment of robots marks a step further in the company’s strategy to integrate technological innovation with the traditional retail industry. The move also reflects Pudu’s ambition to boost interactions between robots and shoppers to entertain consumers while they shop for groceries.

Through a collaboration between Carrefour and Pepsi, Kerfuś has become a source of popular memes on social media, particularly on Twitter, where Kerfuś fans have been actively engaged in discussions on the bot’s adorable design and smart delivery features. Such widespread social media responses and recognitions have accelerated the product sales of Pudu’s partners.

“The popularity of BellaBot means that customers welcome innovation, and we are ramping up our effort to bring our smart delivery bots to more consumers in Europe,” said Pudu CEO Felix Zhang.

Pudu has already established a solid presence in Europe, servicing over 50 business partners in the hope of improving operations across a wide range of scenarios. For example, it has worked with oil refining conglomerate Shell to deploy robots at automated service stations in Poland. The robots are also used in the stores of electronics retailer Media Markt in Poland, McDonald’s in Slovenia, and Pizza Hut and KFC in Poland.