Digital Technology Implementation in US Retail Stores: Trends, Potentials, and Contingencies

Carré, F., Tilly, C., (2022) Industrial and Labour Relations Review

The retail sector, long a laggard in technology adoption, has in recent years greatly accelerated its implementation of digital technologies. This shift includes pivoting to e-commerce but extends beyond that: As one indicator, in fall 2021 retail was “poised to overtake banking as the top spender on artificial intelligence” (McCormick 2021). Retail’s surge in new technology—accelerated since the pandemic—raises urgent questions about the likely impacts on the store-based retail workforce, as part of the broader discussion on the future of work (Autor, Mindell, and Reynolds 2020).

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