Second unstaffed convenience store opens in Taipei
TAIPEI – The largest convenience store chain in Taiwan recently opened its second unstaffed store in Taipei, eying the potential profit created by the growing convergence of online and offline shopping.
The X-Store, operated by President Chain Store Corporation, combines various facial-recognition features for entrance and checkout at the human-free counter located in the upscale Hsinyi District.
The store also features an intelligent ATM machine boasting finger-print and facial recognition technologies for depositing small change and withdrawing foreign currencies around-the-clock.
This is the second X-Store opening this year in a bid to cash in on the large crowds of white-collar workers and students in the area. The first one is located on the first floor of the company’s headquarters since January.
According to a spokesperson, men accounted for 60 percent of the customers at first. The ratio has now changed to 50-50, an indication that female customers have also taken to the new consumption model, he said.
Such data highlights a new trend in the retail industry worldwide: the merging of online and offline systems that leverage data and smart logistics to support sales.
Also called online-merges-with-offline (OMO), new automatic stores such as the X-Store enhance customer recommendations, while improving in-store services, automate supply chain and real-time inventory management.
Combined with AI, the new concept could also increase the financial benefits for companies like President Chain Store Corporation, as long as they find appropriate ways to protect people’s privacy and safety.
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