Large e-commerce stores are likely to crop up as physical stores across the UK high street in the next five to ten years, according to predictions aided by AI.
Money saving website Savoo used AI to visualise the future of the British high street and it suggested more than 11,000 chain stores would disappear by 2030, with almost 2,400 gone from London. Online stores like Amazon, ASOS and Etsy using automated tech could replace some of them.
Ed Fleming, managing director at Savoo, said “with the rise in online shopping becoming more convenient for many, we have seen huge high-street names buckle”.
“People’s shopping habits are forever changing and businesses need to adapt quickly to survive,” he added.
As shops gradually vanish, so could employees. A study from 2019 by KPMG and technology recruitment and IT services provider Harvey Nash found that AI could replace 20 per cent of retail jobs by 2024.
The Office for National Statistics has estimated that over 65 per cent of retail cashiers and nearly 72 per cent of shelf fillers are at risk of having their job automated.
Amazon already has 19 ‘Amazon Fresh’ grocery stores in the UK which are fully automated. Their ‘just walk out’ technology detects which products are chosen and charges it to the customer’s Amazon account.
Amazon, ASOS and Etsy were all contacted for comment about whether they have plans in the pipeline to launch high street stores in the near future.