FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Convenience Stores Without Employees

It might be the ultimate in outsourcing -- convenience stores that employ no human workers at all. Get & Go Express stores dispense food, beverages, basic health items such as aspirin, and DVDs. Between their lack of employees and small size (minimizing real estate requirements), Get & Go stores' profit margins are nearly double those of typical convenience stores.

Customers appear to be embracing the stores, which are essentially clusters of vending machines, for their convenience and reasonable prices. One category of items that Get & Go stores doesn't sell, however, are products that can only be sold to adults, such as tobacco and alcohol. But founder Jeff Parsons is working to automate age verification, and is also seeking unique products to sell through Get & Go stores.

Considering the success of Get & Go stores, it's little wonder that other retailers are exploring "employee-free" stores as a business model. Meanwhile, Parsons is busy franchising Get & Go stores, which offer low startup costs and minimal maintenance in addition to low overhead.

Source: KioskMarketplace.com