Looks like those agitating to force companies to raise the Minimum Wage to untenable heights are really having an effect… by… forcing businesses to go hi tech with more computers, ordering kiosks, and, in Walmart’s case, robots.
The nation’s largest retailer has made an announcement that will have Minimum Wage activists twisting.
In an April 9 blog post, the company noted that it is looking to invest in 4,000 robots to replace humans for a list of duties.
Walmart is calling the robots “automated assistants”:
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. 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 is set to put into service some 1,500 floor-cleaning robots, 300 shelf-scanners, 1,200 truck unloaders, and 900 pickup towers for online orders.
The company added that it has been working on the project for som etime and thus far the machines have been well received.
Walmart has been piloting these different technologies for months now, and the response from associates has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Our associates immediately understood the opportunity for the new technology to free them up from focusing on tasks that are repeatable, predictable and manual, “said John Crecelius, senior vice president of Central Operations for Walmart U.S. “It allows them time to focus more on selling merchandise and serving customers, which they tell us have always been the most exciting parts of working in retail.”
Last year Walmart announced that they were raising wages, but immediately followed that with layoffs. This is exactly what should be expected when a company is forced raise wages, wouldn’t you think?
After all, costs are costs and a company can’t just hike the costs of running a business at the expense of profits. That isn’t how business is done.
Also, as The Blaze noted, “Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) made it a personal mission to pressure Walmart to raise their wages to $15 an hour in November 2018.”
Walmart is far from the only big company to begin introducing robots and machines to replace humans. McDonald’s has been putting computerized ordering kiosks in place for a year so that customers can skip the human cashiers.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.