Shanghai has just opened its first no-cashier convenience store – BingoBox (by Auchan supermarket) on Changyang Lu, Yangpu district. Running 24 hours daily, the store as its name suggests, is a box of around ten square meters selling packaged products like bottled drinks, bread, condoms, etc - things you'd normally see in 7-Eleven or Lawsons, but 20 to 30 percent cheaper.
With cashiers absent, shoppers are expected to scan a QR code at the entrance and register themselves with the app before being allowed into the store. A facial recognition device will (supposedly) recognise registered users when they enter and sound the alarm if an unauthorised personnel pass through the door. To purchase something, simply check out your item at the self-service kiosk and pay using Wechat or Alipay.
To exit the store you scan the QR code by the door. However, according to users, this system seems to be malfunctioning at the moment, with some customers reportedly getting stuck in the store. Luckily, there's a phone to contact customer service if problems arise.
Are staff-less shops
the future of Shanghai shopping? For those of us who cringe at the thought of having to interact with another human being, it seems like the future is bright. As long as we can get out of the door when we're done shopping that is...