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News Roundup: Retail Thinking Twice on Scan-And-Go

October 18, 2019 Updated: September 8, 2020

New Report: Theft is Major Risk for Scan-And-Go Retailers

A study of more than 140 million scan-and-go transactions across 13 major retailers, found that scan-and-go technology actually hurts businesses. If a store did 10 percent of their sales through scan-and-go, product loss could go up an additional 1 percent. The risk increases based on the size of a shopper’s cart.

Shoppers with 50 items in their cart had a 60 percent chance of having at least one un-scanned item, while shoppers with 100 items had an 86 percent chance of error.

According to the National Retail Federation, retailers already lose around 1.4 percent of their product stock each year through theft, employee error and other factors, totaling more than $50 billion.

Since the grocery industry already navigates thin margins, an additional loss of up to 1 percent could be a significant blow. One more reason for retailers to think twice before automating the cashiers who help reduce theft and strengthen customer service.

Automation is the “invisible” apocalypse

Previous visions of a robot takeover show people replaced en masse, but a new study from the Netherlands of 5 million workers shows that the damage is happening in smaller increments – but still impacting huge numbers.

The authors find that automation drives workers away from their jobs, decreases the amount of days of work and a loss of around a tenth of their income. The problem with this type of disaster is that it reduces the impetus for policymakers to seriously plan for our new automation-impacted future.

Automation Makes the Racial Wealth Gap Worse

As American jobs automate, the changes will impact people of color most. Already impacted by a major wealth gap, African Americans could potentially be set even further back by trends to automation that leave them without access to job centers or the skills they need for new jobs.

By 2030, the employment outlook for African American men is expected to worsen dramatically and that’s a population with twice the unemployment as white Americans.

Number of the Week: 200,000

That’s the number of bankers that will lose their jobs due to robots in the next ten years. And according to the report by Wells Fargo, it’s not just your neighborhood teller. It’s high-end traders, back office staffers and corporate rising stars that will all feel the axe.


Any upcoming stories about the impact of automation on the retail industry and the economy?

If you’re interested in speaking with UFCW, email awhite@www.ufcw.org for a quote, statistics, or interviews with workers in retail and other sectors of the economy.