J&H Family Stores Adds Cleaning Robots in Stores

Cobi 18 robot scrubs convenience-store retailer’s floors, freeing up staff to spend more time with customers
cobi 18
Photograph courtesy of ICE Cobotics

J&H Oil, which operates convenience stores under the J&H Family Stores brand, has deployed robots to scrub the floors, freeing up the task from its retail associates, the companies said.

The Wyoming, Michigan-based company has joined forces with ICE Cobotics with the addition of Cobi 18 units across six of its stores, according to the technology company. The Cobi 18 cleans 5,000 to 7,000 square feet per hour and is battery operated.

With staffing shortages continuing for retailers, the autonomous technology has been a game changer, J&H Family Stores said.

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

Having the Cobi machine in the stores also frees up store associates, allowing “team members to spend more time with customers and improve customer experience,” Hoppen said.

The J&H Family Stores location in Coopersville, Michigan, is using more than 10 robots to keep the floors clean. Maintenance worker Zachary Thorne said the Cobi 18 robot, nicknamed WALL-E, has sensors to navigate aisles and avoid hitting products and customers as it cleans.

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

“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,” said Mike DeBoer, president of ICE Cobotics.

ICE Cobotics autonomous technology is also in use at other convenience-store retailers, including Kum & Go.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a CSP member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Opportunities Abound With Limited-Time Offers

For success, complement existing menu offerings, consider product availability and trends, and more, experts say

Snacks & Candy

How Convenience Stores Can Improve Meat Snack, Jerky Sales

Innovation, creative retailers help spark growth in the snack segment


C-Stores Headed in the Right Direction With Rewards Programs

Convenience operators are working to catch up to the success of loyalty programs in other industries


More from our partners