Amazon’s embrace of brick-and-mortar stores with its purchase of Whole Foods Markets WFM, +29.10%  could increase automation in the retail sector — and workers should take note.

As of now, Amazon’s AMZN, +2.44%  intentions when it comes to Whole Foods remain to be seen. But recently the e-commerce giant has been toying with different brick-and-mortar concepts. Just last month, Amazon opened its first store in New York City, called Amazon Books. And near its Seattle headquarters, Amazon has introduced a number of different takes on traditional retail stores, including drive-up grocery stores.

The idea that Amazon could use Whole Foods as a platform to fuel automation in retail should be a scary one to retail workers. The most common job in the workforce today is a retail salesperson — there are nearly 5 million of them employed currently. Being a cashier is another popular job, accounting for more than 3 million workers. Currently, retail sales jobs are expected to increase 7% between 2014 and 2024, while the number of cashiers is only predicted to go up 2%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But a recent study from the University of Oxford found that these jobs have over a 90% chance of becoming automated.

More than half (53%) of tasks in retail were automatable, a report released in July 2016 from managing consulting firm McKinsey & Company calculated. “There was a great fear among retailers, particularly grocery retailers, that someone like an Amazon will come in, automate and reduce the number of employees needed to work in stores,” said Britt Beemer, chairman and founder of consumer research firm America’s Research Group. “Now look who we’ve got as a competitor.”

“Much like Amazon Books, Whole Foods will be become a laboratory for new and unexpected interactions with mobile obsessed consumers,” said Stephan Schambach, founder and CEO of mobile retail platform NewStore, noting that Whole Foods already accepts Apple Pay and has many customers who use smartphones. “The ability to produce a frictionless shopping experience will set the bar not only for ecommerce, but also physical retailers,” Schambach added.

Among the concepts Amazon has rolled out is Amazon Go. Currently, there is one Amazon Go store in Seattle open to the company’s employees in a Beta program. At this store, shoppers must have the Amazon Go app, and the store’s “Just Walk Out” technology detects what products they have taken from shelves. When they’re doing getting what they need, customers just leave the store, and then Amazon charges their Amazon account for whatever items they leave with. These stores could operate with as few as three employees at a time, according to the New York Post.

  • Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill

    whole foods caught selling GMO foods as healthy.
    bill gates and Monsanto were largest stockholder of whole foods
    now amazon wall street buys whole foods right after the bilderberg meeting at the Marriott hotel

  • anonymous4u4me

    Just the start folks the whole idea is to remove as many jobs as possible making most or all dependent on the govt. they will care for you until they put you to death or enslave you to labor free for room and board, This money spent on doing this was stolen over the years to the tune of about 15 trillion dollars. If more people lose jobs then are employed, then there will be no one to purchase products, so production also dies. Its the final step to your enslavement, so do all you can to fight it, don’t. take your shopping carts back, Job security. don’t use machines for anything, like banking, and or checking out at markets, by from mom and pop, and stop dealing with anything that has to do with corporate america, cook at home stay away from fast food, the list is endless as to how to make a stand.

  • Zaphod Braden

    Amazon & Whole Foods, a marriage made by Satan
    Jeff Bezos defends Amazon working conditions from attack Date: 17 Aug 2015
    Jeff Bezos has responded to a report published by the New York Times that described “a bruising workplace” in which people work long hours and employees could routinely be seen weeping at their desk. Bezos said that he had read the article and didn’t recognise it as a description of the Amazon he knew. Yeah sure, and his food does not have more LEAD than Flint water ……………….

  • jerry hamilton

    They are selling Turmeric full of lead and they won’t stop doing it.

  • So the local Food Lion manager a few years back had a cordial relationship with the customers and would shoot the ‘sh_t’ with you being a jovial-type guy. We start talking about automation, this was almost ten years back now, he tells me Food Lion has tried this already on a test program at a remote, rural location here in my home state. Basically you self check out and there is one person for the entire store. That person’s job is to handle large volume aisle purchases and assist customers at the self check out but the greedy a-holes who own these stores won’t staff them properly so they are also tasked with restocking, wires, collecting shopping carts, stocking shelves, taking in checks, payday loans, everything else Food Lion employees normally do with a full staff.

    Bonanza riches time! One employee and all that money saved by allowing customers to, now this is the manager’s own line, “Scout’s Honor Buy,” and pack their own groceries! Think of all the money Wall Street, investors, banks, executives, all that money they are going to be making by having no employees!!!!

    Except, America doesn’t do scout’s honor anymore. Theft at that single location was greater than any store anywhere ever. It was so high they closed the program after one month.

    “Scout’s honor!”