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Automated stores with no human cashiers on the rise

All Headlines 17:31 February 19, 2018

SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) -- Unmanned Stores without cashiers are on the rise, industry sources said Monday, amid local retailers' efforts to find a breakthrough in the saturated market.

Local software firm Danal Co., which operates coffee franchise dal.komm coffee, said it recently opened the country's first cashier-less coffee shop at the country's main gateway, Incheon International Airport.

The coffee shop, named Beat, is located at the newly opened second terminal and is activated by robots, the company said.

The store is operated by smart robots that can take orders, make coffee and move cups to a pick-up location where customers can drink.

"The company aims to add up to 100 stores by the end of this year at various locations, including banks, shopping malls, and universities," said a company official who asked not to named.

Unmanned convenience stores are also on the rise, since the country's first cashier-less convenience store broke onto the retail scene in May. The local operator of 7-Eleven unveiled a shop that utilizes vein recognition technology at South Korean retail giant Lotte's 123-story skyscraper.

Unlike other 24-hour shops, automated convenience stores feature self-service kiosks, where guests scan the bar codes of their items and pay.

Emart24, an affiliate of leading discount store chain operator Shinsegae, currently operates six cashierless stores, having opened the first one last June.

BGF Retail Co., the operator of CU, South Korea's largest convenience store chain, said it is preparing to open an unmanned shop.

The company currently provides mobile application called "Buy-Self," which allows customers to search for an item, and provides a payment tool.
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