Besides volumes of discounts, Black Friday provided Central Florida consumers with a small microcosm of things to come — automation in a retail setting. Walmart’s machines — scanning shelves, picking up customers’ online orders, and scrubbing floors — provided a reflection of things to come in replacing employees with autonomous processes. According to the Brooking’s Institute, 46.3% of employee tasks are susceptible to automation, but automation frees employees to provide other deliverables with higher value to their employers. The interesting take-away is that for Walmart, that has translated to the same number of associates working in a store, but changing the functions they otherwise serve.
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