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Report: Automation could propel Amazon’s grocery operation


Automation could drive Amazon’s grocery business in more ways than one.

Not only will a focus on automation prime the online giant’s AmazonFresh operation to disrupt the grocery industry, but it could also help the endeavor reach a breakeven point, according to CNBC.

In the report, a Barclays research note detailed that "automation could [help] Amazon achieve breakeven by cutting prices aggressively and eliminating the subscription fees entirely. Automation could drive higher efficiency gains in a fresh warehouse given the number of manual steps currently.”

Specifically, the report highlighted the benefits of using "robot vans" in urban markets, given the proximity of the AmazonFresh fulfillment centers and the Prime Now drop-off area. Meanwhile, automation in the fresh warehouse might be achieved using a technology similar to the Kiva robots already use in Amazon's traditional warehouses.

These efforts could help the company generate more than $40 billion in gross merchandise value, or total sales volume, in the next 10 to 15 years, the report said.

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