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GS Retail opens smart convenience store

South Korean retailer GS Retail has opened a “smart convenience store” using facial-recognition technology.

According to the company, the store will serve as a test bed for its automated retail systems. Facial recognition will be used for payments and door operation, while a checkout counter will use the image and weight of products to scan items for payment rather than using a barcode.

The store is purposed to develop ways for franchisees to reduce their staffing expenses against government moves to increase the minimum wage.

According to Yonhap, the country’s minimum wage spiked 16.4 per cent year on year to 7530 won (US$6.79) per hour at the start of the year. It is set to jump another 10.9 per cent to 8350 won per hour at the start of 2019.

A GS Retail spokesperson said the firm plans to continue the testing until the end of this year before progressively implementing some of the technologies in other stores starting next year.

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