Australian Retailers Embrace Automation As Online Sales Rise Under Lockdown
As lockdowns continue across Australia, many households are doing something they may not have considered just 18 months ago: ordering groceries online.
Australia’s supermarket duopoly, Coles and Woolworths, have raced to implement new technology and transform labour arrangements to keep up with the e-grocery boom.
Both are investing in 'smart' warehousing and distribution systems with various degrees of automation, as well as making extensive use of app-driven gig workers for grocery picking and delivery via platforms such as Uber and Airtasker.
Research suggests a reimagining of the Australian supermarket is currently underway. And where Coles and Woolworths go, others will follow: the pair are Australia’s largest private-sector employers, and their current moves seem likely to speed up the trend towards on-demand and precarious labour.
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