Iceland’s first fully automatic neighbourhood store opened in Garðabær yesterday. The store will be open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, reports Vísir.
Various methods to make shopping convenient have grown in popularity in recent years, but the store NÆR is the first to use solely smart technology.
Customers download a phone app and scan a QR code to enter the store. Then they scan the bar code on the products inside the app, pay for the products and leave the store.
Customers can therefore enter the store at any time of day—even when there are no employees working. Staff will be assisting in the shop for the first few weeks, and then the employees will be on duty part of the day to receive goods and fill the shelves.
Þórður Örn Reynisson, CEO of NÆR, says this marks the resurgence of the “neighbourhood store”, which, among other things, has a model in the American chain Amazon GO.
“It was very expensive to set up such a store in Iceland, especially for local shops, so we decided to go the same route as others in the Nordic countries have been doing. And it has proven to be very successful, both in Sweden, Norway and Denmark,” Þórður says.
If all goes well, more smart shops will pop up around the capital area, he says.
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