Amazon in a bid to enter the foods market managed to acquire Whole Foods for over $13 billion, the most expensive acquisition in Amazon’s history. It’s a deal that completely changes the game, and is bound to affect jobs.
Big acquisitions tend to affect jobs in either the short term or the long term, and this latest is no exception. People will lose their work, the primary question is: how many will the decision affect, and will Amazon assist the unfortunate in finding new ones?
Job loss could run into the thousands
A source at Bloomberg reported that Amazon is planning to cut jobs once it fully takes control of Whole Foods. This might take some time to happen, but one thing is for certain, there’s no escaping the inevitable.
Now, the report claims Amazon is making plans to cut thousands of jobs. The idea of slashing that many jobs make sense when one takes into consideration that Whole Foods has over 90,000 employees.
Interestingly enough, it would appear as if all cashiers employed by the company would have to begin looking for new work. The report went on to claim Amazon wants to cut cashier jobs and replace them with automation. Would Amazon really replace real people with its Amazon Go technology?
“Amazon has no plans to use the technology it developed for Amazon Go to automate the jobs of cashiers at Whole Foods,” says a spokesman for Amazon. “No job reductions are planned as a result of the deal.”
The rise of intelligent supermarkets
Amazon wants to do away with cashiers and replace them with technology should come as no surprise. If we look into one of the company’s latest ventures, these stores do not have cashiers, and everything is taken care of digitally. It’s the future of supermarkets and a definitive fight against $15 minimum wage.
So far, folks have a lot of good things to say about Amazon Go, and with good reason. Customers just walk in, pick up what they want, and walk right out. So clearly, there’s room for such stores around the world, and bad news for cashiers.
Price cuts on the horizon
One of the things Amazon has done well over the years is to make sure it has products that cater to a wide range of people. If you’re making a lot of money, Amazon has something for you, surely, but if you’re a low-income earner, worry not, there’s always something there.
That’s the type of mentality the online retail giant wants to bring to Whole Foods, hence the plan to cut prices once it takes over the business.
Still, we have to wonder if wanting to cater to low-income workers doesn’t go against its no cashier policy. Bear in mind that Amazon Go stores require the customer to have a smartphone and an app installed. What happens if a low-income worker doesn’t have a smartphone, or doesn’t have one of the supported devices?
Well, there are always other options, and that’s the great thing about competition.
It will take some time before Amazon can get rid of cashiers since all Whole Food stores must have the technology implemented. After that, the future.