SINGAPORE—This week at NACS Convenience Summit Asia, Blibee received the NACS Asian Convenience Retail Technology Award for its fully automated convenience store concept. Blibee representatives received the award, sponsored by Gilbarco Veeder-Root, on July 20 at the NACS Convenience Summit Asia, taking place July 19-21 in Singapore.
Blibee ("Convenience Bee") stores in China are operated by Bianlifeng, which was founded in December 2016 by Zhuang Chenchao, a former CEO of online travel agency Qunar. The first Blibee store opened in Beijing in February 2017. Blibee currently has more than 2,000 company-owned-and-operated stores in 20 cities in China, chiefly concentrated in business districts, and plans a major expansion push into tier-2 and tier-3 cities. The stores use cameras and sensors that constantly send information to centralized data processors that analyze customer traffic, manage electronic shelf tags, and manage in-store operations like product selection and employee scheduling, as well as food choices and menu optimization. Other fully automated aspects of the store include automatic temperature controls and self-service checkouts.
Blibee's Convenience Bee stores carry nearly 400 proprietary products, and customer preference determines which products are sold. The company's data-driven adaptability enables it to optimize food choices, as store-specific food choices are especially important in China-a country where food varies from province to province and city to city.
"Blibee is truly unique. Its use of leading-edge technology enables employees to follow the processes directed by the software-a unique method of managing productivity-as well as allowing each store to adapt to regional tastes and changing consumer trends," said NACS President and CEO Henry O. Armour.
"Business is about technology that improves operations and the customer experience. Blibee proves that a technology-driven process offers more than just experience for the customers-it also impacts their backend with seamless support. Their innovation toward improving and providing the best for the customers is what Gilbarco Veeder-Root holds as a core value. We are proud to present this award to Blibee. Their contributions align toward this shared vision," said Kevin White, SEA managing director of Gilbarco Veeder-Root.
The NACS Convenience Summit Asia, taking place in Singapore July 19-21, is where global convenience retailers can see what future disruptions are taking place today. To learn more, visit convenience.org/CSA.