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Will Robots Eventually Take Over The Retail Industry?

According to financial research firms such as Cornerstone Capital Group, about 30-50% of all retail jobs are at risk of being replaced by robots. The estimated number of jobs expected to be lost is around 800 million worldwide by the year 2030. This means that a lot of people (and probably you!) that work in retail jobs such as cashier, floor clerk, and sales will likely need to make a career change in the near future!

These studies provide a new perspective on the future of a once vibrant and booming industry. Many people worldwide will have to adjust to this trend and learn new work skills to continue making a living for themselves; or as Dr. Michael Chui of the Mckinsey Global Institute said, "We're all going to have to change and learn how to do new things over time." With the increasing growth of minimum wage putting a burden on an industry that relies heavily on underpaid factory workers to make lucrative gains, it seemed inevitable to many economists and financial research institutions that the future of the retail industry would be automation.

In countries that are more financially developed like the United States, it's more likely that middle-class workers will be affected by this change the most. Meanwhile, workers will not be affected as much in less affluent nations where the cost of such technology would exceed the already cheap cost of labor. The value that automated technology offers to many businesses is that it will save a ton of money on labor costs, investments, and it will also help businesses avoid common errors in financial accounting, logistics and customer service that is inevitably associated with human workers. Despite these predictions, no one knows for sure when, or if, robots will take over the retail industry, but one thing we know for sure is that they are already finding a home with many major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.


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