Robots in retail: Rolling out the Whiz

Aric Rindfleisch*, Nobuyuki Fukawa, Naoto Onzo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Robots are increasingly being employed in retail settings to accomplish a wide variety of tasks. In the years ahead, it is expected that most retailers will employ robots in some capacity and that these robots will alter the role of employees and change the nature of customer experience. However, since this revolution is in its early stages, scholarship in this domain is largely forward looking in nature and focused on the future rather than the present. Our research seeks to enrich and extend this literature by examining a recent robot deployment (i.e., the Whiz) across a large Japanese retail chain (i.e., Daiei). Specifically, we report an interview with executives from both Daiei as well as Softbank Robotics (the manufacturer of the Whiz). This interview touches upon a number of interesting topics including, how this robot is currently being deployed, how employees and customers are responding to this robot, and how it impacts store operations and retailer performance. We then reflect upon this interview to offer a set of future research directions. Our article is also accompanied by a commentary by Guha and Grewal (2022, in this issue) that offers additional insights into robots in retail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-244
Number of pages7
JournalAMS Review
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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