Everything feels like it’s becoming more automated, doesn’t it? Well, if you currently supplement your income with a retail gig, you won’t want to miss this nugget of insight.
Per a piece on Business Insider, retail workers are most at risk to becoming replaced by robots. Yes, we said robots. As much as technology makes our lives easier, it also downsizes humans.
Doug Stephens, author of The Retail Revival: Re-Imagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism, told the site he anticipates Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Target and other retailers to make “a very concerted effort” to pursue robots within the next three to five years.
He says it will take over because technology exists. For starters, considering he points out companies invest in artificial intelligence for health care, why wouldn’t they work in stores?
Secondly, he says customers need to know information right away. Whereas retail employees aren’t necessarily educated on every single item in an entire store, automated robots can provide answers.
In addition, he points out retail jobs have change. “These corporations have drummed out any intelligence the job requires so that the people working are little more than a glorified pair of hands for folding.”
We still think nothing can replace good old-fashioned customer service, not even automated robots. Stephens believes upscale retailers like Nordstrom, Lululemon and Neiman Marcus will continue to invest in their employees going forward.
He explains, “If you work in upscale retail, it’s very possible that your wages could rise and you could support a family on this job.”