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Old 01-23-2018, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,393,710 times
Reputation: 8783

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
Nice logic, but the more modern registers are simpler and simpler to use and require absolutely minimal operator skills. To prove the point lots of places are using self checkout. Currently self checkout might still require assistance and is slow. That will change. We now have an Amazon store with no manual checkout of any kind.


Don't count on cashiers somehow taking on more job functions such as theft and loss prevention. In all but the small stores, that is already handled remotely by review of cameras. Regarding "floor/customer service associates", we can see a strong trend. Knowledgeable individuals are being replaced with cheaper employees. This is really noticeable in Home Depot stores. A few years ago stores had knowledgeable sales associates, often retired tradesmen. Now anyone will do provided they are willing to work cheap enough.
The kinds of things that self-checks can't really do are check ID's, match prices, deal with coupons, etc.. and in general just deal with customer stupidity. I was working there when my Wal-Mart store installed its first self-checks. The first generation was pretty bad. By the 3rd generation they had improved significantly, especially in the weight recognition and user interface. The 1st and 2nd generation used did not actually allow for reduction in front-end staff. The 3rd generation actually did.

I'll be interested to see how the Amazon "no-check" technology works out. https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/21/in...enience-store/ From the first glimpses, the system seems pretty bad at preventing shrink, and all those cameras just seem.... expensive. I think this technology is 10 years out at least from having a significant impact. I also don't think this will penetrate all markets by a LONG shot anytime soon. The expense may be worth it in downtown Seattle and similar markets & may threaten convenient stores in urban cores.

However, go out to any #MAGA area of the country and you still find retailers like ShopKo that take you back to the 1980s when you walk in. Heck you even still see Kmarts in these places, still very much an 80s experience.

I have a hard time seeing how retail in places like that could ever afford the capital cost of replacing checkers with hundreds of cameras & sensors. I remember the corporate mandate of forcing my WM store to install & update self-checks was a budget crunch for store management (they make the stores pay for their own remodels). The wage of checkers is just not that high to justify replacing them with all that extra tech.

From what I can see of the AmazonGo shop... I don't think it is even trying to compete with the Wal-Marts or Targets of the world.

Last edited by redguard57; 01-23-2018 at 07:36 PM..
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:41 AM
 
Location: USA
6,171 posts, read 4,948,777 times
Reputation: 10547
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post


Where to begin.

That's funny you think all retail jobs are minimum wage. Especially in grocery. And that you conflate an entry level wage as a permanent one with no incremental raises for time in title.

I made $12.00 per hour at Giant grocery chain in 1999 on the overnight shift as the single cashier and managing the front alone. I also did stock in down time.

Was that a union shop? I looked into a job at the local Giant in my area and they offered $9 to start. Only the managers are full time.
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:09 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,382 posts, read 50,562,503 times
Reputation: 28610
Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
The kinds of things that self-checks can't really do are check ID's, match prices, deal with coupons, etc.. and in general just deal with customer stupidity. I was working there when my Wal-Mart store installed its first self-checks. The first generation was pretty bad. By the 3rd generation they had improved significantly, especially in the weight recognition and user interface. The 1st and 2nd generation used did not actually allow for reduction in front-end staff. The 3rd generation actually did.

I'll be interested to see how the Amazon "no-check" technology works out. https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/21/in...enience-store/ From the first glimpses, the system seems pretty bad at preventing shrink, and all those cameras just seem.... expensive. I think this technology is 10 years out at least from having a significant impact. I also don't think this will penetrate all markets by a LONG shot anytime soon. The expense may be worth it in downtown Seattle and similar markets & may threaten convenient stores in urban cores.

However, go out to any #MAGA area of the country and you still find retailers like ShopKo that take you back to the 1980s when you walk in. Heck you even still see Kmarts in these places, still very much an 80s experience.

I have a hard time seeing how retail in places like that could ever afford the capital cost of replacing checkers with hundreds of cameras & sensors. I remember the corporate mandate of forcing my WM store to install & update self-checks was a budget crunch for store management (they make the stores pay for their own remodels). The wage of checkers is just not that high to justify replacing them with all that extra tech.

From what I can see of the AmazonGo shop... I don't think it is even trying to compete with the Wal-Marts or Targets of the world.
No, it's competing with the local small markets and delis in the area, in this case even with those that the lease to on their campus since it's within walking distance. A few people that I work with are going there daily now to pick up lunch or breakfast on the way in, and they would normally go to Subway or one of the other sandwich shops. Several of the local media have (with permission) tried to shoplift items and all found they were charged when they got out the doors. There may be faults with the system but so far it seems to be working well.
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Washington state
4,680 posts, read 2,296,137 times
Reputation: 13638
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
By and large, this statement is simply false. Retail is typically the lowest profit margin industry. That's precisely why retail wages are low.

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/ans...ail-sector.asp

Walmart (WMT) is the world's largest retailer by far, but it generally only experiences a three percent net profit margin each year. To put this in perspective, it takes Walmart 30 days in a 31-day month to pay off its cost of merchandise, labor, taxes and other operating costs.

...one of the major reasons retail margins are so relatively low is most retail spending is purely discretionary. Consumers can afford to be frugal and picky when it comes to discretionary items. This means there is a relatively high price elasticity of demand for retail goods, which makes it difficult to raise prices.

Which, of course, is why their CEO makes so much and why they keep their money in off shore accounts. God forbid we actually find out how much money Walmart actually makes. I notice the Walmart heirs aren't hurting too much.
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
5,170 posts, read 4,730,147 times
Reputation: 4206
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodentraiser View Post
Which, of course, is why their CEO makes so much and why they keep their money in off shore accounts. God forbid we actually find out how much money Walmart actually makes. I notice the Walmart heirs aren't hurting too much.
Profit margins actually have nothing to do with wages. None at all. Employers in every industry pay whatever they are required to pay, for the talent and skill they want/need. Walmart simply has little difficulty fulfilling their need for employees.

Margins are low because the competition is fierce for the cheap commodity items that Walmart sells. If they want to continue to grow they need to beat on price.

If the minimum wage was raised, then Walmart's competitors would be in the same boat, resulting in slightly higher prices. It would not mean a loss of sales or profit for them. On the contrary, the poor would have more money to spend, which would likely increase their sales significantly.
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,393,710 times
Reputation: 8783
Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Profit margins actually have nothing to do with wages. None at all. Employers in every industry pay whatever they are required to pay, for the talent and skill they want/need. Walmart simply has little difficulty fulfilling their need for employees.

Margins are low because the competition is fierce for the cheap commodity items that Walmart sells. If they want to continue to grow they need to beat on price.

If the minimum wage was raised, then Walmart's competitors would be in the same boat, resulting in slightly higher prices. It would not mean a loss of sales or profit for them. On the contrary, the poor would have more money to spend, which would likely increase their sales significantly.
My sense from working there was that Wal-Mart's corporate culture was agnostic on policies like minimum wage. They never seemed to complain about states raising it. Quietly I think they supported it. They know who their customer base is - the working poor and lower middle class- and if they have a few more dollars in their pockets, it's likely they'll spend them at Walmart.
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Old 01-26-2018, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Washington state
4,680 posts, read 2,296,137 times
Reputation: 13638
Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Profit margins actually have nothing to do with wages. None at all. Employers in every industry pay whatever they are required to pay, for the talent and skill they want/need. Walmart simply has little difficulty fulfilling their need for employees.

Margins are low because the competition is fierce for the cheap commodity items that Walmart sells. If they want to continue to grow they need to beat on price.

If the minimum wage was raised, then Walmart's competitors would be in the same boat, resulting in slightly higher prices. It would not mean a loss of sales or profit for them. On the contrary, the poor would have more money to spend, which would likely increase their sales significantly.
Walmart could raise their prices on all items by a penny and have enough to raise wages for their workers.

https://thinkprogress.org/walmart-pr...-f3fcc714ff13/

In addition, money spent by employees would be circulating, which is what we need to keep our economy afloat.
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Old 01-27-2018, 12:40 AM
 
3,569 posts, read 2,014,636 times
Reputation: 3288
Corner stores will be fine....two co-owners can operate the store, and neither needs to be paid a wage.
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