In this file:
· Walmart is doubling down on robot janitors. Here's why
· Walmart to add thousands of robot helpers to U.S. stores
Walmart is doubling down on robot janitors. Here's why
By Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business
April 9, 2019
New York (CNN Business)Walmart wants store workers to help out customers instead of mopping up floors and unloading boxes in backrooms. So it's increasingly turning to robots to fill those tasks.
The world's largest retailer announced Tuesday that it is adding thousands of new robots to its stores. By next February, it expects to have autonomous floor scrubbers in 1,860 of its more than 4,700 US stores. Walmart will also have robots that scan shelf inventory at 350 stores. And there will be bots at 1,700 stores that automatically scan boxes as they come off delivery trucks and sort them by department onto conveyer belts.
Walmart says these "smart assistants" will reduce the amount of time workers spend on "repeatable, predictable and manual" tasks in stores and allow them to switch to selling merchandise to shoppers and other customer service roles.
"The overall trend we're seeing is that automating certain tasks gives associates more time to do work they find fulfilling and to interact with our customers," CEO Doug McMillon said last year of the new technology in stores.
The retailer believes that bringing on bots will lift sales and make stores more efficient. Walmart also says bots limit worker turnover. That's because it's hard to consistently find workers to unload trucks and keep up stores overnight.
Walmart has been testing out this technology in hundreds of stores over the past year. Its expansion plan means that the innovations have been effective for Walmart so far. It also signals that robots will play a key role in the retailer's store strategy going forward.
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Walmart to add thousands of robot helpers to U.S. stores
Natalie Neysa Alund, Nashville Tennessean
April 9, 2019
Walmart is adding thousands of robot helpers to its stores across America, the country's largest employer said Tuesday.
"Smart assistants have huge potential to make busy stores run more smoothly, so Walmart has been pioneering new technologies to minimize the time an associate spends on the more mundane and repetitive tasks like cleaning floors or checking inventory on a shelf," according to a Walmart news release. "This gives associates more of an opportunity to do what they’re uniquely qualified for: serve customers face-to-face on the sales floor."
Walmart officials said the company plans to roll out 1,500 new autonomous floor cleaners named "Auto-C" and 300 additional shelf scanners called "Auto-S.”
In addition, 1,200 more FAST Unloaders will automatically scan and sort items from trucks, and 900 more pickup towers will help retrieve customers’ online orders...