Remember when people who were working minimum wage jobs started demanding more than minimum pay? They picketed protested for $15 an hour.
I remember that, because I also remember rolling my eyes at them. I knew that they obviously did not understand that minimum wage could just jump like that because inflation would cause our economy to cripple. I also realized what they didn’t: if they protested for more money, their companies would find more efficient ways to make money….without them.
Boom. Then suddenly McDonalds made the machines inside the lobby where you could order and pay and not even have to interact with a cashier, thus one less person to pay.
Now, Walmart taking advantage of self-checkout, which also eliminates cashiers and makes lines nearly obsolete.
Here’s how it works: shoppers download Walmart’s “Scan & Go” app, then scan the barcodes of the items they wish to purchase.
Once they are finished shopping, they click a button to pay for their goods and show their digital receipt to a store greeter on their way out the door.
Amazon revealed plans in December to introduce a similar technology to its own brick-and-mortar grocery concept, called Amazon Go, which is still in the planning phases.
But Walmart is leaping ahead of Amazon and already rolling it out to more than a dozen stores in Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky.
For shoppers without smartphones, the retailer provides hand-held scanners. The stores also have options for customers who don’t want to link up a credit card to their Scan & Go accounts.
Those customers can simply click “finish” on the app, then report to a self-checkout register where they will scan a barcode for their total purchase and pay for their goods.
One shopper in Waxahachie, Texas said, “It makes shopping easier because you can actually see what your total is before getting up to the register,” Mattie Shepherd continued, “You can scan, and it’ll show your purchases of everything and then what your total is, so you can keep track of what you’re spending and I think that’s cool.”
Another person even compared it to being like the Jetsons!
So perhaps the protestors helped propel us a little more into the future, in a sense. They wanted more money, but in reality, they lost their jobs and now life is a little easier for all of us.
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