TOKYO—Retail sales are up as is innovation in Asia. FamilyMart has opened its first cashierless store as a trial in Tokyo, TimeOut.com reports. The Famima store has a single employee to restock shelves but not collect payment for goods purchased. Customer purchases are automatically calculated, then shoppers can pay by card, IC point card or cash in the designated area.
The small footprint outlet stocks about 700 products, much less than a typical FamilyMart location with 3,000 items. The chain said it might open more stores with self-checkout after evaluating customer feedback on the trial.
This isn’t the first time in the past year that FamilyMart has turned to technology to increase operating capabilities. In the fall, FamilyMart tested robots remotely controlled by human workers to lower operation costs and increase sales.
Over in South Korea, retail sales rose 10% in February 2021 over a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Retail in Asia reports. Sales from offline stores accelerated 14% as people bought presents to celebrate the Lunar New Year, registering the first on-year increase since October 2020.
South Korean convenience store sales had less of an increase at 2.1% because more customers bought daily necessities in bulk from online retailers. However, South Korea’s combined retail sales soared 5.5% on-year in 2020.
To learn more about what’s happening in the Asian convenience store industry, make plans to attend this year’s NACS Convenience Summit Asia, a virtual event scheduled for August 16-20. No other convenience retail summit helps you uncover unique perspectives, drive value for your organization and build strategic relationships in Asia. For more information, click here.