New Citi bank report reveals 80% retail jobs at risk of being automated


A new report published by Citi bank and the University of Oxford has revealed that automation will result in job losses of around 80% in the retail sector.

Studying the impact of automation and e-commerce on retail industries worldwide, the report is the third part in Citi’s Technology at Work series.

It underscored implications for industry, retailers, supply chains and transportation, while also assessing the impact of automation on labour and employment.

Based on the trends observed in technology, the report noted that roles in transportation, warehousing and logistics departments run the risk of being replaced by automation.

“The rise of e-commerce players like Amazon constitutes only the early beginnings of the displacement of traditional retail jobs in department stores and high street shops."

The focus of the study centred on automation technologies for orders, inventories and deliveries in the e-commerce segment.

In a previous report released last year by Citi, it was predicted that 47% of US-based jobs were at risk of automation over the next two decades.

In the current report, Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment co-director Carl Benedikt Frey was quoted as saying: “E-commerce penetration varies greatly by country, and as millennials enter peak spending years the e-commerce driver will increase, meaning that much of the disruption from automation in transport, warehousing, and logistics is yet to come.

“The rise of e-commerce players like Amazon constitutes only the early beginnings of the displacement of traditional retail jobs in department stores and high street shops, allowing consumers to checkout without encountering a single retail worker.”

The report comes at a time when retail firms are looking to consolidate their operations and strengthening their online presence.