In the not-too-distant future, grocers may not need any front-end employees.
In the not-too-distant future, it is possible that the only employees working inside a grocery store will be shelf stockers, maybe deli-person counter personnel, a manager or two and IT/computer technicians if the grocery store that Amazon is trying out becomes the norm.
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As the Seattle Times reports, Amazon’s experiment could “radically transform” the retail industry.
The 1,800-square-foot store, officially dubbed “Amazon Go,” is the latest beach in brick-and-mortar retail stormed by the e-commerce giant, which already has bookstores and is working on secretive drive-through grocery locations.
It’s clearly a sign that Amazon sees a big opportunity in revolutionizing the staid traditions of Main Street commerce.
In the much longer term, if the experiment works out and is adopted widely, it could radically transform the nature of work in the retail industry, much like driverless car and truck technology threatens to upend transportation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a report this year that cashiers were the second-largest occupation, with 3.5 million employed in the U.S.
This should be of huge concern to the United Food & Commericial Workers union whose mainstay is workers in the grocery industry.