Saha Group set to open the first unmanned stores in Thailand

Consumer goods retailer Saha will launch its first unmanned stores in Thailand within three months.

The move is an attempt to reorient the firm’s business strategy towards a more contemporary model, relying on recent technologies to win a younger target demographic.

“It’s a must,” said group chairman Boonsithi Chokwatana. “We still need to invest more in order to respond to the new demand of new generations.”

Saha’s first 100sqm unmanned store “His & Her”, operated by the firm’s retail arm ICC International, will offer close to 300 items from instant noodles to branded clothes. It draws on facial recognition, QR code reading and radio frequency identification technologies invested in by the firm to the tune of some THB10 million baht (US$330,000). The store will also feature multiple payment systems.

The firm is expected to invest a further THB50 million ($1.62 million) on new servers, applications and big data systems in order to profit from a closer analysis of customer habits.

“We plan to debut the unmanned store by October,” said VP of ICC’s information & technology division Surat Wong, adding that the company intends to expand further by next year following an evaluation of initial sales results. 

Earnings of around THB760,000 ($24,600) per month are expected from the store, just 5 per cent lower than the average monthly sales of its existing manned stores.


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