retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart "has ended its effort to use roving robots in store aisles to keep track of its inventory, reversing a yearslong push to automate the task with the hulking machines after finding during the coronavirus pandemic that humans can help get similar results."

The move means the cancellation of Walmart's contract with robotics company  Bossa Nova Robotics Inc., with which it has had a five-year relationship.

According to the story, "Walmart ended the partnership because it found different, sometimes simpler solutions that proved just as useful, said people familiar with the situation. As more shoppers flock to online delivery and pickup because of Covid-19 concerns, Walmart has more workers walking the aisles frequently to collect online orders, gleaning new data on inventory problems, said some of these people. The retailer is pursuing ways to use those workers to monitor product amounts and locations, as well as other automation technology, according to the people familiar with the situation."

KC's View:

Those same people who are walking the aisles ought to be empowered and encouraged to be Walmart's ambassadors to the customer base, able and eager to answer questions and provide a personal connection.  

Can we all sing together….?

People who need people,

Are the luckiest people in the world…