Self-Checkout to Land at Japan’s Seven-Elevens by 2025

The convenience retailer is also testing drone deliveries.

January 21, 2022

Japanese 7-Eleven

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Seven-Eleven Japan Co. will launch self-checkout registers at its stores across Japan by 2025, reports The Japan News. The deployment of the machines is to help ease the workload on staff and offer contactless shopping options for customers.

Store clerks still will handle bill payment services, alcohol and cigarette purchases and other age-restricted items. The Japan Times reports that checking out customers accounts for 30% of a convenience store clerk’s workload, and labor shortages in the country have increased the workload.

“For them [convenience stores] to be chosen as ones that will generate employment, it is necessary to make them more friendly to workers,” said Ryuichi Isaka, president of Seven & i Holdings Co.

Also in Japan, FamilyMart Co. is opening unmanned convenience stores in Japanese post offices throughout the country. FamilyMart plans to open 1,000 unmanned convenience stores by the end of fiscal 2024. Due to the convenience store oversaturation in Japan, the company is differentiating the stores by opening them in mostly unconventional locations.

Additionally, Seven-Eleven Japan Co. is partnering with ANA Holdings Inc. to test a delivery system using a remote-controlled drone in a residential area in a suburb of Tokyo, reports Arab News. The companies aim to commercialize the drone delivery system around 2025 after further tests. The system is expected to be in high demand from residents in remote islands and sparsely populated areas.

The drone flew for 4-5 minutes 1.4 kilometers away. The process between the order receipt and delivery completion took about 30 minutes. The customers ordered oden soup, and it didn’t spill, reports Arab News.