SEOUL—Korea Seven, which operates 7-Eleven stores in South Korea, has partnered with Neubility, a South Korean autonomous robot startup, to commercialize autonomous robots for short-range delivery, Aju Business Daily reports.
Most large convenience store chains in South Korea offer delivery to customers via third-party food delivery apps. For example, the popular Yogiyo food delivery app delivers groceries and other products from CU and GS25 chains. Typically, third-party delivery services receive about $3.51 per delivery.
The domestic food-delivery services market hit $19.8 billion last year, according to the South Korean Fair Trade Commission.
Korea Seven’s agreement with Neubility calls for it to commercialize the autonomous robot Neubie in Seoul and surrounding areas by the end of this year. According to Neubility, Neubie robots can navigate deliveries in urban areas in any weather conditions.
However, it can difficult for these robots to operate in the Gangnam district because the numerous skyscrapers could block the satellite signals needed for the robot’s GPS system. To overcome this, Neubie robots have cameras and sensors in addition to GPS, so they are more adaptable for those areas.
“The two companies will cooperate to build a model for [a] next-generation delivery service that brings convenience to store management as well as increased profits,” said Choi Kyung-ho, CEO of 7-Eleven in South Korea.
Elsewhere in Asia, 7-Eleven Japan this week announced plans to launch national delivery services by 2026. The country’s top c-store chain will mobilize its national network for last-mile delivery to take on Amazon.
Register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on technology, including Meeting Consumers Where They Are—Everywhere on October 5 and Drive-Thru and Curbside: Is This the Future for C-Stores? on October 6.