Retail workers feel disruption from shifting shopper habits

In this Saturday, March 25, 2017, photo, shoppers enter the Sears department store in Schaumburg, Ill. On Friday, April 14, 2017, the Commerce Department releases U.S. retail sales data for March. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

NEW YORK (AP) – With new options and conveniences, there’s never been a better time for shoppers. As for workers … well, not always.

The retail industry is being radically reshaped by technology, and nobody feels that disruption more starkly than 16 million American shelf stockers, salespeople, cashiers and others.

As mundane tasks like checkout and inventory are automated, employees are trying to deliver the kind of customer service the internet can’t match. A Best Buy employee who used to sell electronics in the store is dispatched to customers’ homes to help them choose the right products. A Walmart worker dashes in and out of the grocery aisles, hand-picks products for online shoppers and brings them to people’s cars.

While some workers feel more satisfied, others find their jobs are a lot less fun.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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