The Robots Are Coming, The Robots Are Coming!

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According to a new 14-page report from RetailWire, 77 percent of large retailers say it’s important to develop a clear robotics strategy versus 30 percent for smaller retailers. Some 47 percent of respondents said it was “somewhat important” to have a clear, executable and budgeted robotics automation strategy in place this year and intend to have a project underway within the next 18 months.

The most effective robotic applications/functions are likely to be in one of six areas, according to the March survey. They are scanning shelves for stock-outs (59%), order picking (47%), moving product loads from the backroom (35%) pricing accuracy checks (35%), floor cleaning (21%) and Planogram compliance (21%).

There are three large obstacles that may hinder retail robotics strategies — budgetary restrictions (62%), lack of clarity on the benefits (41%) and misconceptions/apprehension about the technology (32%).

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