Okashi Land may go unmanned in China

Hong Kong-listed Four Seas Group, which runs Okashi Land confectionery outlets, plans to open unmanned stores in China.

Its Guangzhou-based partner EasyGo, a start-up that runs unmanned convenience stores on the mainland, is finalising a location for a flagship Okashi Land store there with an unmanned section, says EasyGo co-founder Fele Wang.

She says the start-up wants to take advantage of its base in southern China to seek co-operation from brands based in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and might expand the branded store model once it takes off.

EasyGo also sells Four Seas products through its unmanned convenience stores in the Pearl River Delta in the southern mainland. It has about 100 outlets in 10 cities in China, but Four Seas products are mainly available at its stores in seven cities in southern China.

To enter the company’s unmanned stores, customers need to scan a QR code using Tencent Holdings’ messaging app WeChat on their mobile phones. They then pick out the items they want, and scan a QR code again at the exit point where the system automatically detects the items and tallies up the purchases.

As well as expansion in southern China, EasyGo is trying to make inroads into eastern China in cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou.

In Shanghai, EasyGo has been supporting Tencent in running a cashierless pop-up shop, We Life. 

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