After a pilot phase in the summer, French supermarket company Auchan will expand its Auchan Minute formula across China. The entirely automated, small convenience store chain should have hundreds of locations by New year.
Only 18 sqm required
Auchan signed a deal with HiSense to enable that expansion. HiSense is a global force when it comes to digital trade and intelligent machines. The first, fully automated store opened its doors in the Chinese city of Shanghai. Customers have to identify themselves with an app prior to entry and scan their products at the cash register. They can use the WeChat and Alipay apps to pay. If a problem does occur, the customer can talk to an employee by video chat: no staff is present at the store itself.
The stores can be placed virtually everywhere, because Auchan uses 18 sqm containers filled with 500 products. These miniature supermarkets are always open, 24/7.
Auchan Minute has lofty ambitions, because the French company aims to have several hundred locations by the end of the year. It already announced it would introduce this formula in other countries as well.