Retail is a growing & continuously developing industry. Customer needs are highly volatile so major concern for retail is to provide value added services to the customers at the same time minimizing operational cost so as to gain cost advantage, this can be achieved by providing automated machine solutions. Retail Automated solutions provide comfortable, flexible and user friendly solutions to customers as well as retailers.
Regionally, North America is the market leader in retail automation and holds largest part of market share, it is because of increasing income & purchasing power of customers and strong economic condition of the region. Out of the total retail market food and non-food vertical of retail automation market shows largest growth in North America due to increasing rely on retail automated product, where as in coming years Europe region is expected to grow at very fast rate in retail automation market, it is because of increasing retail chains and their product lines in Europe. Retail automation benefited the overall retail market by improvement in service quality, productivity and output and reduction in cost. On the other hand it creates disadvantage for labours because of loss of job. Also Automation in any industry requires high capital investment which is another disadvantage.
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Economic crises in America and Europe affected the market, both customers as well as investors were uncertain about the future of the market. Increased unemployment level & reduction in the disposable income of people affected retail market very badly. But now situation is different, economic conditions are improved and there is financial stability in market which results into decrease in unemployment level and increase in disposable income of people. In case of Europe, demand differs from country to country. In countries like Italy, Portugal, Greece and Spain, where still economic conditions are unstable, have lesser demand for products on the other hand in the countries like Turkey, Poland, Russia demand is increasing because of improvement in financial condition and increasing numbers of hypermarkets, shopping centres and supermarkets. Worldwide growth of retail industry, growing necessities of customers, business process optimization, reduced cost to retailers and increasing demand of retail automated products are acting as driving factors for growth of retail automation market where as continuous supervision of Kiosks, high dependence on electricity & internet act as restraint for market. Also some customers finds inconvenience in operating self-service system.
Market segmentation for Retail Automation is done on the basis of geography, type and product. By geography North America is sub-segmented into United States, Canada & others and Europe is sub-segmented into Spain, UK, Germany, France & others. By operator type market is sub segmented into human Operated terminals and unattended terminals. By product market is further sub segmented as currency counter, cash register, bill printer, barcode reader, weight Scale, card reader, self-checkout system and kiosks/vending machine.
Future of retail automation market is very attractive because of high growth of global retail market & favourable customer response and their growing demands. Various big retail companies like Metro, Tesco, Walmart and Kroger playing significant role in growth of this market. This market growth encouraging retail giants to invest heavily on automation products & services which results into cost advantage & output efficiency. Some of the top players in retail automation solutions are, Honeywell, Seiko Epson, First Data Corporation, Fujitsu, Motorola, Wincor Nixdorf, Siemens, NCR Corporation, Casio, Toshiba etc.