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Investing in the Robotics Powering Retail's Record Holiday Sales

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On today’s episode of the Tech Talk Tuesday podcast, Ryan McQueeney chats with ROBO Global’s Bill Studebaker about how to invest in the robotics revolution powering retail logistics during this year’s record-breaking holiday shopping season.

Remember to subscribe and leave a rating on Apple Podcasts if you enjoy the show!

Despite recent market volatility, the consumer spending environment remains relatively strong, and that means this year’s holiday shopping season should be quite lucrative for retailers. Indeed, we have already seen the Thanksgiving shopping holidays—including Black Friday and Cyber Monday—notch record-breaking sales figures on the e-commerce side.

Record digital sales do create a logistical problem for retailers, however. More shoppers buying things online means more activity in fulfillment warehouses, where workers are surely feeling the pressure to get orders out in a timely fashion. Luckily, retailers these days have a helping hand: robots.

Retail companies like Amazon AMZN are investing in warehouse automation and robotics like never before, and the unique efficiencies of these technologies are meeting a new surge in e-commerce demand.

To discuss this trend, Ryan is joined by Bill Studebaker of ROBO Global, an index and research company focused on the budding robotics and automation industries.

Bill identifies where robots are most commonly found in the logistics chain and helps frame a growth model for how large this market could get. He also discusses what this disruption could mean for the labor market and argues that automation could actually create new employment opportunities for humans.

Bill also explains how ROBO Global structures its index, which includes more than 80 companies from around the world. About 10% of this index is directly focused on logistics automation, so it is certainly an interesting gauge for the retail-adjacent segment of this market. Notable holdings doing work in this area include Daifuku and Zebra Technologies ZBRA.

The index is tracked by the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF ROBO.

People are fascinated by the possibility of self-driving cars and life-like, personal assistant robots, but just below that flashy surface, the robotics and automation industry is presenting an incredible opportunity for growth in the warehouses and fulfillment centers that make today’s retail sector work. Make sure to check out today’s show to hear more!

If you feel that we missed something, or if you want us to cover a different story, shoot us an email at podcast@zacks.com. Make sure to check out all of our other audio content at zacks.com/podcasts, and remember to subscribe and leave us a rating!

Thanks for listening to the Zacks Tech Talk Tuesday Podcast; we will see you next time!

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