It seems as though little by little, everything we do is becoming self-autonomous and automated. In a world first, retail giants Zara are releasing a self-service system which is to be introduced into every store around the globe early next year.
The new system is currently being tested in Spain and features self-checkout systems (think Tesco, only minimalistic, trendy, and naturally easier to use), as well as futuristic touch-screen changing rooms. The catalyst behind the innovative step is to cut queuing time for customers and to create an overall better customer experience. As well as this the new proposed self check-out systems will also have the ability to cut the cost of human labour, which could come at a larger cost to small economies like ours.
The retail sector in Ireland is thriving and expanding slowly after experiencing a rapid deceleration due to Irelands by-gone economic slump. There are currently over 275,000 people employed within the retail sector (which are the same number of people employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, financial, insurance, and IT sectors combined), and most recent figures indicate that retail accounts for an extra €15 billion to our economy which is expected to rise further as consumers have more money to spend compared to this time last year. While automating the retail experience will cut out the face-to-face service that the sector currently offers, it will provide an online-like experience affording quick sales and the ability to try on clothes prior to purchase (rejoice!). However, it does make me wonder what these means for impulse buying because I suspect there will be higher cases of it, and more-hollow pockets as a result.