Amazon’s futuristic, automated supermarket could operate with three human staffs

Tec giant Amazon has unveiled the futuristic prototype of its automated supermarket store which might include as many as 4000 items ranging from fruits, vegetables, meats to beer and wine in a two-story store of between 10,000 to 40,000 square feet, yet manned by three human employees.  The Seattle based etailer has disclosed its supermarket version of Amazon Go convenience store that will “utilize technology to minimize labor.”

Unlike in regular supermarkets where dozens of staffs are employed, the Amazon version would need a maximum of 10 employees per shift, of which only three will be human. Amazon’s strategy of reducing manual labor has been successful over the years when the company introduced robots in its warehouse to automate packaging process and later using drones to deliver packages. The company now wants to implement the same technology in the billion dollar supermarket industry.

The human employees will be mostly deployed in areas where they have to deal in face with the shoppers. The store manager’s prime duty is to sign up customers for the Amazon Fresh service. While one worker would restock the shelves, another two would assist customers picking their groceries at the drive through fast-food style windows.

Traditional supermarkets spend a good amount of their earning on their employees, which is where Amazon wants to cash on. In U.S alone, 3.4 million workers were employed in the supermarket stores across the country with an average of 89 staff per grocery store. Amazon’s futuristic prototype might not have a cashier, but will have staff to monitor shoplifting.

“Shoplifting is a touchy subject for Amazon. In the view of Amazon, people who can afford Prime memberships aren’t likely to shoplift. If someone walks in off the street, they’ll be able to access the stores, but they’ll have to sign up for a membership which means showing an ID,” a source said.