Commentary: Singapore convenience stores need to become more convenient to thrive


There are several ways that convenience store operators can remain relevant.

In India, some companies offer “fast delivery” services, with small orders promised with “delivery in 10 minutes”.

The automation of some of the restaurant services we see around Singapore, such as automated bartenders and vending machines offering sandwiches and hot meals, could also see a presence in convenience stores, not just for coffee but for food. other customizable products like salads and smoothies and popular items like bubble tea.

The result can be a revamped convenience store that becomes an integral part of the online and offline shopping experience for the average Singapore consumer.

Unmanned automated store formats that eliminate the need for staff can also be a new business model. In recent years, several unmanned convenience stores have sprung up in Singapore. However, they have not yet become the norm in the regions of the heart.

Pick & Go, founded in October 2019, has four of these stores in Singapore. There’s also Octobox, which has a handful of unmanned stores. In May, Cheers launched a hybrid store with staffed and unmanned sections at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He also owns an unmanned, cashless shop in Tampines.

These unmanned formats have additional benefits in terms of the data that can be collected. Buyer inbound and outbound times and customer-specific information provided by the app can further help optimize both supply and marketing planning.

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