FamilyMart Taiwan launches digital prototype

FamilyMart Taiwan has launched a pilot convenience store concept that incorporates a range of digital technology including robots, VR interfaces, interactive projection screens, smart shelves and blockchain applications.

A Fujitsu Robopin communication robot is stationed at the entrance to highlight offers and in-store events, while video content about products is projected on to the doors of freezer units.

Electronic price tags interact with POS registers to update automatically, and product information is available through QR codes and NFC(5) technology built into the price tags.

FamilyMart says it will study the results of the prototype store with a view to rolling out the technology to other stores.

FamilyMart Taiwan chairman Yeh Jung-ting says convenience stores need to be modernised according to the world around them, as well in preparation for workforce shortages.

He says Family Mart still wants locations to be personable, and while there will be fewer staff, the new stores will not be devoid of staff like some 7-Eleven outlets. The idea is to add efficiency to shopping for both customers and staff.

One of the greatest advantages will be eliminating the time spent ordering stock. Previously ordering goods took around two hours, whereas smart shelves whittle down that time to seconds.

Ultimately, there will be 17 technological upgrades made by possible by 15 new partnerships.

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