It's a brave new World at the Shopping Center


As Amazon begins to open more brick and mortar stores with automated services, like checkout, the pressure is on the other retailers to keep up. Robots stock the shelves and you pay and go on your smart phone.

George Keleman of the Texas Retailers Association says stores will always need human employees.

"There's always going to be a role for people; it's not an industry in decline, it's an industry in transition."

But cashiers' days could be numbered.

"As soon as you leave the premises it computes everything you've purchased; it's an app tagged to your credit card and you pay that way."

Rice's Dr. Scott Sonenshein says "companies like Lowe’s have been testing robots for some time. With delivery services taking off, stores will start to be more like fulfillment centers where it’s easier to automate with robots."

Keleman says more robots are coming to Texas stores, but not just yet.

"Yeah, it's definitely coming. We haven't heard of any of our member companies that have instituted it permanently and full-time yet. This is very new technology but it's very interesting and very promising on a lot of levels for many retail companies."

The World Economic Forum warns 30 to 50 percent of the world’s retail jobs could be at risk once technologies like automated checkout are fully embraced.


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