Ever wanted to experience shopping at your own leisure, with no staff breathing down your neck or casting you dirty looks?
Well, now you can!
In fact, if you think about it, this is inevitable: go to any convenience store nowadays and you’ll pass your money not to the cashier, but to a machine that “eats” up your money and return the exact change.
The cashier, who might no longer be called a cashier, merely scans the items.
On Friday, 28 July 2017, the first ever unmanned and cashless convenience store in Singapore opened, right at the Nanyang Polytechnic campus.
No more facing of that grumpy cashier who looked like she went bankrupt the other day, and no more sidestepping staff that always randomly restock items that are already stocked to the brim.
It’s now entirely you, you and other like-minded shoppers!
Now, how does this Cheers store operate?
Think those self check-out kiosks at your local supermarket, but instead of a half-half ratio between cashiers and check-out kiosks, this Cheers store supports a 100% check-out kiosk ratio!
Here, customers are allowed to check out their purchases using the specially provided systems, and can utilize NETS, credit cards, EZ-Link, mobile and contactless modes as payment methods.
And no, there won’t be payment terminals set up specifically for a payment method; every self-checkout system accepts the different cashless payments!
Here’s an interesting fact: NETs payments can be made via QR (quick response) codes too! (QR codes are a type of barcode read by devices)
So what’s the difference between a normal Cheers store and this innovative outlet?
For starters, it looks like a usual Cheers store, just without the cashier and assistants, and is equipped with at least ten closed-circuit cameras.
Aside from vending machines that offer ready-to-eat foods (pizzas, fried rice and more), there’s also a system that monitors stock levels and starts ordering when items reach a certain level.
Talk about technology!
How do you access the store? You would first have to download the “Shop It Yourself” mobile app, complete your registration and wait for a QR code to be generated.
Thereafter simply use the code to enter the store! The doors would lock by themselves once you enter too. Damn cool if you’d ask me, almost like a scene from Star Trek.
This approach saved Cheers a whopping 180 man hours a week. Crazy stuff, yeah. Just imagine the amount of money they could save! But of course, that would mean 180 man hours lost to machine.
Disruption: it’s coming faster than you expect.
But of course there would still be people running the store. More specifically NYP’s School of Business Management students who study retailing. Over 50 of them will be picked every year, and they will be utilized in multiple groups.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, chief executive of NTUC FairPrice which runs Cheers, said the store is a step towards offering a “differential and innovative retail concept”.
“To stay competitive and relevant, a key approach is to provide value-added services that cater to the needs and convenience of customers,” he said. “Besides challenging industry norms, this store also aims to cultivate a self-service culture in Singapore.”
For those of you who are interested to pay a visit, the store is located at the Nanyang Polytechnic campus and is open from Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 7.30pm.
And for those who live in the East, Cheers is going to launch another unmanned outlet at Tampines, so stay tuned!
You know what? By 2027, having a person serve us in a convenience store might just start to feel weird. #disruption
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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Featured Image: straitstimes.com