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Delivery robot from Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn. Photo: Niels Wenstedt/AFP via Getty Images

Look out for the first of the retail robots as you shop this year.

Why it matters: From machines that can restock shelves to robot deliverers, automation is creeping into the retail industry. The first-ever cargo-carrying robot for consumers comes from Italian company Piaggio. The robot is similar to the delivery bots that FedEx and Amazon have been testing, but it can be yours for a few thousand bucks, AP reports.

Between the lines: On top of the more than 15 million Americans who work in retail year-round, companies routinely hire hundreds of thousands of temporary workers to staff stores and warehouses during big shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

  • The development of more — and smarter — retail robots puts those jobs at risk.

Piaggio is marketing the robot as a seamless way to lug your groceries or shopping bags around a city. But the company will have to find other uses for the bot to make money off of it, analysts tell AP.

  • It's not clear how big the market is for a super-expensive grocery-carrying robot, but the machine could potentially be used to move inventory around in a warehouse or medical supplies in a hospital.

The big picture: This new bot joins dozens of others in the retail industry.

  • Tally, a robot developed by Silicon Valley's Simbe Robotics, is already starting to pop up in store aisles.

Go deeper: A crisis for retail jobs

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
13 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's plan to upend Trump's environmental legacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden will on Wednesday order a government-wide review of over 100 Trump-era policies and direct agencies to prepare a suite of emissions and energy efficiency rules.

Why it matters: New information from transition officials offers the full scope of Biden's imminent, inauguration-day burst of environmental and energy policy moves.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
14 mins ago - Health

The public health presidency

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden will take office today facing a challenge none of his modern predecessors have had to reckon with — his legacy will depend largely on how well he handles a once-in-a-century pandemic that's already raging out of control.

The big picture: Public health tends to be relatively apolitical and non-controversial. The limelight in health care politics typically belongs instead to debates over costs and coverage. But that will all change for the Biden administration.

D.C. braces for economic hit from scaled-back inauguration

Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The days leading up to and including Inauguration Day typically generate $31.4 million in additional sales for D.C. businesses — but not this year.

Why it matters: Washington's economy is already suffering from pandemic-induced closures, and could very much use the revelry and tourist dollars that Inauguration Day brings — instead of the large bills that will pile up if there's further mayhem or if visitors continue to stay away.