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Retailers Launch Test Robots To Prepare Customers' Online Orders

A distribution center

The hustle and bustle of picking products from the shelves and placing them in the right boxes for online delivery is among the most labor-intensive tasks for warehouse workers. To cut back on those costs, retailers are increasingly turning to machinery and automation — and yes, robots — to get the job done.

Teaching a robot to pick-and-pull products is no easy task, but companies like Hudson’s Bay Co. (which owns Saks Fifth Avenue) and Chinese e-commerce player Inc. are test-launching robots to prepare orders for delivery, with some companies boasting their robots can move products 50% faster than human workers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

As e-commerce sales skyrocket and retailers pursue more aggressive delivery abilities (such as same-day and overnight deliveries) by moving in closer to customers, retailers are increasingly turning to tech advancements to help with their logistics woes.