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Sweden opens its first unmanned convenience store

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Sweden opens its first unmanned convenience store

Customers at the store in Viken, southern Sweden, use their mobile phones to unlock the door with a swipe of the finger and scan their purchases.

All they need to do is register for the service and download an app.

Other unmanned technologies such as transportation systems are also beginning to gain a foothold outside the U.S., with regulators in the Netherlands recently championing a self-driving bus system that's recently begun testing in a small university town. However, alcohol can not be sold in convenience stores in Sweden. The outlet offers staples such as milk, bread, sugar, canned food, diapers, and other household conveniences. It does not have tobacco or medical drugs either. "It is incredible that no one has thought of his before". In recent decades, such stores have been replaced by bigger supermarkets often many miles (kilometers) away.

He hopes the savings of having no staff will help bring back small stores to the countryside.

Ilijason takes charge of receiving deliveries and filling up the shelves.

Sweden opens its first unmanned convenience store

The 480-square-foot building sports six surveillance cameras to keep an eye on customers, but the store's compulsory registration inherently discourages theft, since user information is logged in the app every time they enter the store. Ilijason does do the initial work of stocking the store, but after that he lets the smartphone do the rest. If the front door stays open for more than eight seconds or someone attempts to pry it, a text message is automatically sent to Ilijason who lives nearby.

Viken has a population of barely 4,200, but if it's successful there, then it ought to be workable in larger towns and cities.

However, some customers hailed the store's speed and convenience.

The biggest hurdle may still be the technical divide as many older patrons don't know how to use the app. Ilijason is considering a few different possibilities to alleviate that tech burden, but for now says customers love the idea. He said he was able to do his shopping, within a minute with no queues.

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