Roboshops: Rise of unmanned supermarkets in Sweden
Coop Sweden is opening its first round-the-clock unmanned stores in the city of Gävle as part of a pilot project, as the trend for unstaffed shops continues to grow in the country.
The two stores will be operated by Coop Mitt, which has a network of more than 60 stores in Gästrikland, Hälsingland, Dalarna, Uppland and Västmanland.
The pilot project is scheduled to launch during autumn, the retailer added.
Coop Sweden has developed a new self-scanning application to allow customers to scan and pay for goods using their mobile phones.
CEO of Coop Mitt, Meta Persdotter, said: “The focus on unmanned stores is a way for us to be in more places where we see potential. At the same time, we offer a solution for customers who want to be able to visit a Coop store regardless of the time of day”.
The news follows on from Swedish supermarket start-up Lifvs, which has opened 19 such stores across Sweden since the start of last year, choosing from the thousands of small villages and towns that have seen their grocery store shut down in recent decades.
In 1985, there were 8,500 supermarkets in Sweden. By 2010 there were fewer than 3,500. Eket used to have a small supermarket, but as the population dwindled, it shut down.