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Brief Published: 22 Mar 2016

Scan & Go: 24/7 Staffless Convenience Store, Sweden


Swedish entrepreneur Robert Illjason has developed ‘Näraffär’ (meaning ‘shop nearby’) – an app able to operate an innovative, completely staff-free, 24/7 convenience store. The move was inspired by a personal emergency requiring a late-night, 20-mile drive just to find an open supermarket for baby food.

Located in the small village of Viken in southern Sweden, the store relies entirely on mobile communications. The accompanying app – which syncs with users’ bank accounts to serve as a mobile wallet – grants customers entry to the store (like a hotel key card) and also scans product barcodes to buy products. While the transaction itself is completed within minutes, users receive an invoice at the end of each month.

Offering all daily necessities (with the exception of those subject to age restrictions – cigarettes, medication and alcohol), Illjason describes the 45 sq m store as “returning convenience to small villages afflicted by inhabitants emigrating to cities and other community hub closures”. Adding relevance, local consumers are invited to co-create its inventory via the app by requesting items that aren’t stocked in-store. Meanwhile, a camera surveillance alarm system combats theft.

For more on the convergence of convenience-store formats and mobile payments, see Rapid Retail & Bite-Sized Engagement, Digitisation of the Supermarket and  Mobile World Congress 2016.

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