As COVID (hopefully!) recedes, consumers have reentered brick & mortar retail locations only to find them in various states of chaos. Among the offenses, according to CNBC, sales floors converted into staging areas for online orders, half-empty shelves, unpacked inventory, piles of unsorted clothes and other goods, and employees darting around preparing orders for curbside pickup.
Amazon is getting ready to release an in-home robot. Already famous for their warehouse robots, the in-home version (currently called the Vesta) is in late prototype stage, according to internal sources who spoke with Insider. The development currently claims 800 employees, many pulled from other projects.
Albertsons, the nation’s third largest grocer, recently announced it is discontinuing its in-house grocery delivery system, replacing thousands of jobs by outsourcing its delivery operations to Instacart.
My man and I reached new levels of yuppy recently, gifting each other a smart home for Christmas, complete with Apple TV, two HomePod Minis, and a whole host of smart devices like lightbulbs, plugs, and door locks. Now, when we walk into the house, the lights turn on, when we tell Siri it’s bedtime, the lights turn off, and when we tell her it’s feeling dry, the humidifier resumes its steady vapor cloud. Sure, it’s all very cool and convenient, though I will confide I occasionally find myself in an embarrassingly protracted argument with a speaker (“Hey Siri! Stop talking, OMG, let me finish a sentence!”) and that I have come to feel like an early version of the human population in WALL-E.
As we discussed in our blog a couple weeks ago, despite 2020 unleashing nearly every horror imaginable upon us, holiday spending forecasts show roughly a $50/household spending decline, which, given the totality of this year's tumult, is not all that much.