When I talk to retailers about artificial intelligence, their eyes glaze over, like I’m speaking a foreign language and very few people want to talk about it. But it’s coming, it’s unavoidable. AI is going to pervade almost every aspect of retail, big and small. Here’s a case in point: The EPA estimates that a supermarket of 50,000 square feet, that’s a large store but not excessively so, uses about $200,000 worth of electricity and natural gas in the course of a year. According to the EPA, about half of that cost is in refrigeration and lighting. Most such large stores have freezers that consumers go into to pick out their frozen food.
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