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Brief Published: 25 Sep 2018

Dirty Lemon Lets You Pay Later by Text

Drug Store

Trendy health-focused New York beverage brand Dirty Lemon has opened a checkout-free store in Manhattan's Tribeca called Drug Store, where it's trusting consumers to grab a drink, leave, then pay later by text at their convenience.

Anyone can enter the store – there is no need to scan your phone as in the case of the Amazon Go format. Consumers are expected to text the company once they grab an item, with drinks costing around $10 and the phone number being provided in-store. A 24-hour customer service team replies within five minutes with a link for users to enter their card details (the info is not stored in the system), along with "let us know if you need anything else x", and confirmation of payment.

New customers are prompted to set up an account, also by texting the same number. This strategy mirrors the text-based payment system the brand already uses online, with shoppers ordering products for home delivery via its website and similarly paying by text.

"I do think a majority of people would feel very guilty for continuing to steal," says Dirty Lemon's chief executive Zak Normandin. However, the Tribeca space does feature a safety system, with monitoring and heat mapping tech showing how many people are inside, plus RFID tech tracking when products are taken out of the fridge. The brand says any losses will be classified by the company as sampling costs.

Dirty Lemon is planning to add a private bar space to the experience later this year, which will be aimed at its VIP consumers (those who buy at least one case of drinks a month). It is also planning to open up stores in Chicago and Miami in 2019.