There are small unstaffed stores opening in rural Sweden by the name of Lifvs. These Unstaffed super stores are a relatively new concept and many people would have concerns about this. But for these small stores in Sweden, these concerns don’t seem like a very big issue.
How it Works
In order to shop at these stores you must have their mobile application on your phone. The store’s door only opens when you scan the code on the door from your mobile device. Every item in the store has it’s own bar code and you scan the item that you are purchasing using your phone. You are then billed for those items through your mobile device.
This method of shopping is efficient and quick, and cuts down the store’s labor costs. It’s truly a new concept and people do have concerns about the stores’ security. Another advantage of this technology is that you can offer customers personalized coupons and give them an easy and carefree shopping experience.
These stores are relatively small, each store being the size of a shipping container. Each customer takes 3 minutes on average to shop. According to Lifvs’s CEO the store has 550 stock keeping units and has items ranging from meats, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and household goods.
Lifvs has an amazing concept and operates using similar tools to Amazon’s cashier less Amazon go stores. During the covid-19 pandemic, this store would be a great way to practice social distancing and shop with comfort.
The main concerns that come my mind when I hear the words unstaffed super store are the security risks and the shops general maintenance. Since the store has no staff, it would be difficult to provide real time customer support to people in need of help. The shop is also at a major risk of shop lifters as without staff at the premises, it would be easier for someone to sneak a couple goods out the door.
Another concern which comes to my mind is that the store would come to stand still if there was a power or internet outage. Although its more convenient, the store would also have to regularly check all systems to make sure that there are no glitches. The costs would end up being the same since the money you are saving by reducing labor, would have to be used to regularly maintain all their systems.
Let’s see how successful Lifvs is in the future.