Walmart Ends Contract With Robotics Company, Opts For Human Workers Instead, Report Says

At some Walmart stores, robots have roamed the sales floors and helped check if shelves were stocked. But the big-box retailer has now decided to end its contract with the robotics company behind those machines after finding that people can do about the same work, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The report, which cited unnamed people familiar with the situation, said Walmart recently cut ties with Bossa Nova Robotics. A Walmart spokesperson told the Journal that about 500 robots were in Walmart’s more than 4,700 stores when the contract ended.

Walmart has seen significant growth during the coronavirus pandemic, as Americans buy toilet paper, canned goods, puzzles and more. The company’s online sales nearly doubled in the second quarter, as consumers shipped purchases to their homes and retrieved them by curbside. That’s created a new challenge for the big-box retailer — quickly restocking shelves and making sure it has the right inventory on hand.

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