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Cutting humans out of retail

I was interested to see a report in The Age about Microsoft playing in the shopping space with a console connected to the cart you walk around the store.  While it may attract retailers looking to cut labour costs, I see it as another example of big business not understanding that retail is about human based customer service – yes, even in supermarkets and massive department stores.



  1. Personally I love good service and avoid stores that don’t have it. I think you are the same Mark. Unfortunately I think we are the minority as price is the number one shopping factor these days and service and quality are being left behind. And article in The Age today describes how Australians have the least affordable housing in the world. We have been hearing all about how the USA is on the verge of a housing bubble burst, while we are even worse off than them! When you are a family trying to scrape together every dollar, service is note really a consideration. If stores can eliminate staff and replace them with cheaper alternatives and lower prices many people may be publicly outrages but privately happy at the lower prices.


  2. If this happens we may as well shop online. Will be cheaper and can do it from home


  3. Daniel, people are moving their shopping online. While commodities may still be more commonly bought via the supermarket or newsagent most other things are commonly being bought online in a multi billion dollar industry. The added bonus of buying online is that the customer service online is generally better than you can get in a store.


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