Nov 25, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 409 words, a 2-minute read.

🇷🇺I highly recommend Axios World editor David Lawler's mini-dive into Vladimir Putin.

1 big thing: The robots of Black Friday

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, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.

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

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Pope Francis waves from the popemobile as he drives around Tokyo Dome before conducting Mass on the third day of his four-day visit to Japan.

2. What you missed
  1. Elizabeth Warren suggested Michael Bloomberg thinks he can "buy" the nomination with "bags and bags of money." Go deeper.
  2. House Intel Chair Adam Schiff says his committee's report on Trump and Ukraine will be transmitted to the House Judiciary Committee shortly after Thanksgiving. Go deeper.
  3. It's been a while since we've had a full-fledged Merger Monday, but today we've seen over $60 billion in announced deals. Go deeper.
  4. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade might be without its signature balloons this week as NYC regulations prevent them from flying when winds exceed 23 mph and gusts top 34 mph. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun pup
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Conan, the very good dog who was on the mission that took down Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, visited the White House today.

Mike Allen