The move toward automation is affecting the retail industry, but is it a threat to employees yet? Retail giants Amazon and Walmart are adding warehouse robots to handle different tasks. While this might seem like a concern for employees, they can still count on being able to do their jobs using warehouse equipment for now.
Amazon first made the company’s interest in robotics known in 2012 with the purchase of Kiva Systems. Since that time, Amazon has set up cashierless stores and put robots to work moving items around inside its warehouses. These robots have allowed Amazon to store more inventory and handle customer orders at a quicker pace. This has led to shorter delivery times, making customers happier overall.
Walmart also uses robots in warehouses to take care of some tasks and plans to add more. Newer robots will be moving groceries around warehouses at a grocery distribution center in California in 2020, and a New Hampshire location will have automated carts available for moving items that are part of online grocery orders.
Other plans for robots at Walmart include an unloading system that removes items from trucks and sorts them while bringing them to warehouse shelves.
Effects of Robots on Jobs
Adding automation to warehouses is expected to create some jobs, but it could also lead to job losses for some warehouse workers over time. While warehouse workers don’t have to worry about losing their jobs to robots just yet, they should keep an eye on automation news.
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