In a shocking move, Walmart announced today that it will replace all of its human employees with robots by the end of the year. The retail giant said that the decision was based on a cost-benefit analysis that showed that robots are more efficient, productive and profitable than humans.
“We’re going big on robots,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. “They can clean floors, sort inventory, replenish out-of-stock items, scan shelves, check out customers and even greet them with a friendly smile. They don’t need breaks, vacations, health insurance or unions. They are the perfect workers for our stores.”
But what will happen to the thousands of human workers who will lose their jobs to the machines? Walmart has a plan for them too. Instead of firing them, Walmart will offer them a new role: store decor.
“We don’t want to waste the human capital that we have invested in over the years,” McMillon said. “We want to give our former employees a chance to stay with the company and contribute to our success in a different way. That’s why we’re turning them into store decor.”
According to McMillon, Walmart will transform its former human workers into statues, mannequins, paintings, sculptures and other artistic pieces that will adorn the aisles, walls and ceilings of its stores. The former employees will be paid a nominal fee for their participation and will be required to sign a waiver that absolves Walmart of any liability for their health and safety.
“We think this is a win-win situation for everyone,” McMillon said. “Our customers will enjoy a more aesthetically pleasing shopping experience, our robots will have less distractions and more space to work, and our former employees will have a new purpose and meaning in their lives. They will become part of Walmart’s legacy and history.”
McMillon said that Walmart will start the transition to robots and store decor in the next few weeks and expects to complete it by December 31st. He said that he hopes that other retailers will follow Walmart’s example and embrace the future of automation and art.
“This is the dawn of a new era for retail,” McMillon said. “We’re not just selling products, we’re selling experiences. And nothing says experience like a human-turned-store-decor.”