What a strange labor market?
We shouldn’t be surprised that the labor market is in a weird place right now. I mean boomers, one of the largest generations, are finally hanging it up. I’m not an economist, however, when the “Greatest Generation” decides it’s time to enjoy retirement, the jobs they created simply go unfilled. A recent report showed that there are still more jobs available then people to fill them. This is after the fastest increase in interest rates to “slow” the labor market in the history of our country! The Boomers are simply “over it” I guess.
But doesn’t the work still need to be done? We need people to check us into our hotel, greet us at Walmart and fix things. (side note- how hard is it to find a plumber these days?)
Why are we afraid of technology?
The conventional wisdom of today is that technology replaces jobs, leaving hard working people out on the street. What was an assembly line full of workers is now replaced by a robotic arm. Cashiers are being replaced by self-checkout. ChatGPT is writing our papers. I guess there is a lot to be concerned about if….
Consider this radical idea…. We NEED technology more than ever. Not to replace our jobs, rather, fill the jobs that are left behind. Companies need to still make more money than they did last year and People still don’t have any time to wait for service or anything. (Maybe I need to just youtube how to replace my faucet)
The Grab & Go Culture?
Have you walked through an airport lately? Vending is everywhere. Crazy. I saw a Lego Vending machine…. In Houston! Makeup, electronics, drugs, organic meals and cupcakes. Leave the airport and cars are in a vending machine (I know this is a gimmick, but this blog is about vending).
Who wants to buy Legos from a vending machine? I can see drugs like eye drops, allergy medicine and chapstick but isn’t there a gift shop to help you with that?
Apparently, Gen X, Millenials and Z’s simply don’t want to deal with people. They are comfortable looking through a window, sliding their credit card and watching (or hearing) the item they see through the glass travel from its slot to a little door they can open and grab it. We have created a “GrabNGo” Culture.
Why is NAMA so Important?
The National Automatic Merchandising Association is here to help facilitate, promote, and encourage this “Grab and Go” culture. For many, vending is the only way to get their product in front of consumers as bricks and mortar retail gets even more competitive. For others, autonomous retail is the only way to meet the needs of a workforce that no longer works 9 to 5. Still others are simply trying to expand their reach and revenue.
The NAMA show is where all of these “others” meet, network and do business. Technology is there to make buying things easier and cheaper to operate. Brands are there to see how they can expand their presence. Operators are there to see how they can capitalize on new revenue streams and find customers.
Vending is big business and NAMA is here to bring us all together. See you May 10-12 in Atlanta.
For more information about smart cooler technology visit instagng.com, visiongroupretail.com or click on the link to schedule a meeting.
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