Robot 'associates' reportedly help Walmart beat earnings expectations

Walmart’s automated “associates” are part of why it did so well during the second quarter, according to one report.

The retail giant reported its earnings on Thursday, with a net income of $3.61 million, according to MarketWatch. Those earnings beat expectations.

Part of the success was due, in part, to the use of robots, the website reported, which research analyst groups noted.

“In 2Q, Walmart U.S. was going up against its toughest same-store sales compare in 10 years. Still, it was able to generate 2.8 percent core same-store sales as it dialed up price investments,” UBS wrote in a note, MarketWatch reported.

“Plus, it continues to find new ways to control expenses as it learns from [zero-based budgeting] and increases its use of automation (e.g. FAST unloaders, robot floor cleaners),” UBS added.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WMT WALMART INC. 159.93 -2.60 -1.60%
FDX FEDEX CORP. 264.87 -1.48 -0.56%

Elizabeth Walker, from Walmart Corporate Affairs, wrote about its automation programs back in April on the company’s website, saying, “Smart assistants have huge potential to make busy stores run more smoothly, so Walmart has been pioneering new technologies to minimize the time an associate spends on the more mundane and repetitive tasks like cleaning floors or checking inventory on a shelf.”

“This gives associates more of an opportunity to do what they’re uniquely qualified for: serve customers face-to-face on the sales floor,” she added.


Meanwhile, FedEx will begin testing the use of delivery robots in Memphis, starting Aug. 26, according to WMC Action News.

The outlet reported that the robot, named Roxo, can carry up to 100 pounds and will be monitored by a remote operator.