Droids will run Amazon’s giant new two-storey supermarket minimizing human intervention by a huge margin. A minimum of three and a max of 10 employees at any given shift will be enough for the automated store to run smoothly.
The store, reportedly, will be a massive version of its earlier concept covering an area anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000 square feet and stocking as many as 4,000 items.
Sources close to Amazon told the New York Post that the 4000 items will include eggs, cheese, fruits and vegetables, meats, and grab-it-and-go products like wine and beer, spread over two super-sized floors.
According to insiders, there is a strong likelihood of pharmacies being included in some high-tech locations as Amazon realizes the money-spinning potential they have.
The long-term plan is to make the Go supermarkets a global endeavor which will ensure big savings for the retail giant in terms of labor costs.
“Amazon will utilize technology to minimize labor,” a source close to the situation told The Post – nobody seems to have given a damn about the loss of potential jobs and livelihood the automation will bring about.
However, when approached by the New York Post for comments, Amazon categorically denied that there were any such plans on the cards. Moreover, in a statement given to The Verge, Amazon reiterated that the Post had wrong information as they had no plans of building the futuristic two-storey Go superstores.
“As we told the New York Post, we have no plans to build such a store and their story is incorrect,” Amazon said to The Verge.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to remind readers that labor-reduction technology is not unchartered territory for Amazon. The progressive use of robots in its bid to automate its distribution warehouses to cater to the ever increasing demand bears testimony to the fact; not to forget its more recent attempt at adopting job-cutting technology when it made its first ever drone delivery to a customer at a farmhouse in England – a job which humans have been doing.
Moreover, Amazon has reportedly won a patent for unmanned flying blimp-like warehouses referred to as the “airborne fulfillment centers” (AFCs) to maintain an uninterrupted supply of goods to a swarm of drones for airborne deliveries to customers.
Coming back to the automated Go supermarket prototype, an average location could be staffed by six humans including a manager whose job would include “signing up customers for the “Amazon Fresh” grocery service,” according to the New York Post.
Two workers would work on the upper level helping out the robots pack groceries for customers waiting at ground level while two workers would oversee the “drive thru” windows where customers would be picking up their grocery items. The lone worker left would be responsible for stocking up shelves.
At the end of last year, Amazon had unveiled its Amazon Go concept of grocery shopping which required just the customer and the app cutting out the need for lines of registers. A test store is due to become operational in Seattle sometime this year.
The gigantic two-storey automated superstore is an extension of the Amazon Go on a much larger and more grandiose scale if at all it is truly what Amazon is planning.
The rapidly expanding automation by Amazon has but two motives, apparently – customer gratification and increased profits. While both are not in any way wrong in that all businesses want customer satisfaction and subsequent profits, cutting down jobs for increased profit is ethically wrong. In addition to making profits and gratifying their customers, responsible businesses have a moral obligation to include job creation in their plans, as well.