Consumers living in remote parts of rural Sweden where conventional stores and supermarkets have closed down can now use their mobile phones to buy goods 24 hours a day at automated, unmanned grocery stores operated by Swedish retail start-up Lifvs.
Once they have downloaded the company’s app and linked a valid payment card, customers access their local store by unlocking the door with a tap on their screen, select the goods they want to purchase, scan them using a barcode and confirm payment in the app.
“We are open 24 hours a day and prices can be kept down because the shops are unmanned,” the company says. “Instead of queuing at a checkout, you scan your goods with the phone and pay with the push of a button in our app.
“We are just like other grocery stores. Hundreds of items you recognise in different categories from everyday to party goods.”
Lifvs is opening the stores, which are housed in containers, in clusters of between four and six outlets so that each cluster can be stocked and maintained by a single member of staff.
More than 20 stores are up and running and the company says it plans to open “at least 300 small, smart and unmanned convenience stores where they are needed most”.