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‘Jeff Bezos may have changed how we shop forever but no amount of AI can replace real retail’s human touch’

Mary Kenny


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Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Major emergency! I lost my mobile phone charger — and without an electric charger the battery would run down, with the unthinkable result of no mobile phone. What to do? Go on Amazon. See screenshots of various charging devices. Click on suitable one. The next morning, a new phone charger plops through my letter box, for the price of a tenner.

That’s the way we shop nowadays. Yes, we go to real shops too — and what a joy to see them open again — but delivery from Amazon has embedded itself in our way of life. Even if we disapprove on grounds of globalisation, or that Amazon’s warehouse workers put in 10-hour shifts (there have been complaints about not having time for toilet breaks), or that Amazon is driving small traders out of business with ruthless competition — even then, we use it. Because it offers choice — enquire about “running shoes”, and you may get 70,000 results — speed, ease of payment, and variety. Amazon can supply almost anything, from a ballpoint pen to a complex lathe machine.


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