Walmart turns back automation stops using robots to check the shelves of its supermarkets: The US supermarket chain Walmart will stop using robots to check the order of products on the shelves of its supermarkets. The popular chain of stores has decided to end its contract with Bossa Nova Robotics, the company that provided these robots of almost two meters that circulated through the corridors scanning the exhibitors, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Walmart, which had come to deploy robots in 500 stores and had the plan to reach a thousand of its 4,700 establishments in the United States with the aim of reducing their labor costs, has decided to take a step back in this development because it has options "simpler and equally useful" than robots, according to the WSJ a source close to the company.
The supermarket chain had had to hire 500,000 new employees due to the growth of digital orders due to the pandemic, so according to the WSJ these workers who take the products from the shelves to prepare the orders can at the same time check the shelves and check the placement of the products. The company plans that those workers will be able to monitor the number of products on each shelf and their location, as well as some other automation technology.
Walmart turns back automation stops using robots
Another reason was the concern of the chain's CEO, John Furner, about how shoppers were reacting to the presence of robots in stores, another source familiar with the company's situation tells The Wall Street Journal.
The giant supermarkets has catapulted their sales via e-commerce from the pandemic, a section that nearly doubled in the second quarter of 2020, when it sold 97% more through its website, in a quarter in which had a turnover of more than 137,000 million dollars (117.400 million euros).
Walmart decided in late October to convert four U.S. stores into spaces specifically dedicated to serving e-commerce requests, in which employees will use technological elements such as an augmented reality app and other elements to prepare digital orders faster. They also work on increasing the number of products that are available on their website.
Walmart turns back automation stops using robots
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Lenovo's worldwide profits soar by 53% and the company expects to finish the quarter as a leader in the Spanish computer market
"Record" results at Lenovo during its second fiscal quarter-from July to September -.
This has been explained by Alberto Ruano, the CEO of Lenovo Iberia, the subsidiary of the Chinese multinational for Spain and Portugal.
The firm specializing in the sale of laptops and other electronic devices has reached 14,500 million dollars in revenue —about 12,400 million euros—, which represents a year-on-year increase of 7%. In terms of net profit, they have reached 310 million dollars worldwide - 264 million euros -, 53% more than the previous year.
The main numbers of Lenovo accounts in its second quarter of 2020:
- Revenue: 14,500 million dollars (12,400 million euros), +7% year-on-year.
- Profit before taxes: 470 million dollars (401 million euros), +52% year-on-year.
- Net profit: 310 million dollars (264 million euros), +53% year-on-year.
Ruano has detailed that in all business divisions of Lenovo there have been record figures. Thus, the division of smart devices continues to lead the growth of the company, after in the group of PCs and smart devices have recorded a turnover of 11.5 billion dollars, a year-on-year growth of 8%.
The second unit of the group is its mobile division, after the sale of the razr 5G and the first mobile terminal dedicated to gaming of the company, the Lenovo Legion. The third segment is the data center, with revenues of dólares 1,480 million.
In a press conference, Ruano, the general manager of Lenovo Iberia, has highlighted that in the first quarter of the firm's fiscal year they saw how the pandemic produced "a great market growth" and in the second quarter they boosted their supply chain to meet the new demand. "In the third quarter that we will close in December we will continue in the same line, attending to the demand of users as best as possible".
The numbers are diametrically opposed to those it recorded at the end of its fiscal year, when it lamented losses in its mobile division due to the closure of its factories in Wuhan because of the same pandemic.
Looking ahead, Lenovo is closely monitoring what could be happening in the coming weeks, now that countries such as France or the United Kingdom announce new home confinement in a widespread way. "If a little more drastic decisions are made, to return everyone to the home, the market will continue to grow, and not only the online market: also the professional one," Ruano has ventured.
"Overall, the PC industry is going to continue to help society be better connected and remain productive" during the pandemic.
Lenovo does not yet have its corporate figures for its markets in Spain and Portugal. But with preliminary data in hand, Alberto Ruano believes the company could end up as number one in market share. "The behavior is being very similar in Spain and Portugal. All divisions have registered growth."
If it manages to be the number one in market share, Lenovo would record a milestone. "4 or 5 years ago in Portugal we only had 7% of the quota. Now we are above 30%. In Spain we would be talking about 28%".
Growth has skyrocketed in markets such as Spain because the country was not as accustomed to teleworking as some Nordic countries. "There are societies where the growth has not been so great because they were already more accustomed to work or study from home because of the weather: sometimes the snow prevented them from going to their job or school."
Ruano has valued that until now the laptop was considered more a "product"," and now after so long confined we all want a computer with better screen, with more memory, with better hard disk, etc". "We have realized that not only the PC and laptop market has grown, but also the mid-and high-end market: citizens have realized that we need products with much better specifications."
The Lenovo Iberia executive has also detailed what he considers a "paradigm shift" in the industry. "Sales are now also aids to society." "It is not the sale as we saw it a year ago: it is sales that help society to be more productive and to be more communicated."
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