While its employees are receiving more time to help customers, the company is going to add thousands of robots to help with simple jobs.
Online retailers such as Amazon put a lot of stress on brick-and-mortar shops such as Walmart. Even though it has its own online presence, sales are dwindling. Walmart believes to have found an answer to this problem. Now, robots will take over simple mundane jobs (such as cleaning up spills). This way, employees can focus on helping customers.
Floor cleaning robots
As of today, Walmart has announced to deploy 1500 (Auto-C) autonomous floor cleaners. It too adds 300 (Auto-S) shelf scanners and 1200 (FAST) unloaders that will scan and sort products as coming off of the delivery truck. In order to streamline online orders, Walmart is adding 900 “Pickup Towers”. This enables customers to pick up their orders from a vending machine at the closest Walmart.
The company has tested the robots for a couple of months already. The idea is to have their human employees spending more time preparing (online) orders and helping customers in the shop. However, there are concerns about mechanical assistants eventually replacing employees all together. As for now, employees are receiving a more customer-facing position.