A new report by Cornerstone Capital Group has concluded that the jobs of as many as 47 percent of the 16 million Americans currently working in retail could be made redundant in the next ten years. The human aspect of the jobs will be replaced by highly-automated e-commerce and other up and coming innovations. The in-store positions that are most vulnerable to the automation apocalypse are cashiers. Sales and freight can sit tight for now, but who knows what technology innovation could replace them as well. Only time will tell. Even ‘personal touch’ roles aren’t safe with some major chains aiming to replace all in-store greeters directly with robots or apps. The report also highlights that while sales roles are just as likely to be filled by women as men, 73 percent of retail cashiers are women and their job is considered “one of the most easily automatable”. In an estimated ten years, future retailers will have sensors and intelligent vision to automatically detect what customers have in their carts and then bill them as they walk out the door. The report showcased two strategies retailers to utilise. Lower-end retailers can use technology to increase convenience and volume, while high-end retailers should focus on technology that enhances the customer experience. Ultimately, if more retailers focus on using technology to support highly skilled workers and enhance service, it may result in fewer layoffs and potentially higher pay for staff.
For this issue, we explored the markets of swimwear, activewear and intimates in an extended Radar showcase (flip to page 18). Vancouver Fashion Week is creeping up on the calendar and it’s not too late to grab a ticket! If you can’t go, don’t worry, we are live streaming all of the shows online at www.apparelmagazine.co.nz.
Why does a chicken coop only have two doors? Because if it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan.