Sweden Has the First Unmanned Cyber Grocery Store

Don’t you hate going to the store and having people around to tell you where stuff is and help you with your transaction when you’re done?  Total drag.  Well Sweden just punched that in the Stockholm with a new store run entirely on apps and your hatred of human contact.

Residents of the town of Viken can download an app and head to their new general store where all purchases are processed by phone.  Inspired by Robert Ilijason’s late night panic after running out of baby food with a hungry baby in tow, the shop runs 24 hours a day with no cashier.  Customers just bring their cellphone and finger swipe to open the secure door.  All purchases are scanned and will be billed at the end of the month with an invoice.

The store sells the basic things you need that you always run out of like bread and milk and eggs, diapers, and snacks.  It doesn’t sell tobacco or any medical items and Sweden doesn’t allow alcohol in convenience stores at all, so that’s not a concern.

A network of security cameras are set up to discourage shoplifting, while an alarm alerts the owner if the door is open for more than 8 seconds or if anyone tries to break in.  As the store’s only employee, Ilijason receives deliveries during the day and stocks shelves, then leaves the store to run itself the rest of the day.

The store has been open since January and the only issue Ilijason’s had so far is getting elderly customers to adapt to the technology involved.  But while some old people aren’t sure of what they’re doing, those who get it seem to really like it.  Imagine doing your shopping as quickly as walking in, grabbing what you need off the shelf, and walking out again.