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Automated checkout and other employee-free services could have a major downside for retailers

from Food Dive

Automated checkout and other services that factor out employee-customer interaction could have a negative impact on shoppers, writes sociology professor Stacy Torres in a New York Times opinion piece. Elderly customers and others at risk of social isolation, in particular, benefit from interactions with cashiers, pharmacists and other employees. Even fleeting socialization can positively impact customers, writes Torres. She cited a bakery employee she knows who remembers many of her customers’ names and orders, as an example of a valuable employee who could go by the wayside if Amazon Go-like technology becomes the norm. more

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