From Reindeer to Robots, Automation Set to Deliver This Holiday Season
By Jennifer Smith | Oct. 3, 2018 8:30 a.m. ET
Never mind the reindeer and elves. This year, robots are helping deliver the holidays.
Gap Inc. GPS +0.84% is using automated arms and artificial intelligence to sort the retailer’s clothing orders. Walmart Inc. WMT +0.73% is testing robots that roam store aisles to check inventory and tell workers where to find goods. And logistics providers are sending mobile step-stools mounted with shelves through fulfillment centers to help pull online orders for toys, apparel and Walt Disney Co. products.
With the busy holiday peak looming, retailers and logistics companies are ramping up automation as surging demand for labor outstrips the number of available workers. Much of the technology is being used in distribution operations, where workers pulling carts or driving forklifts are increasingly working alongside machines built to keep goods moving at a rapid pace…
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