• Jiji


Major convenience store operator FamilyMart Co. unveiled to the media on Tuesday an outlet with an unmanned payment system, which is scheduled to open Wednesday near Tokyo Station.

The company will consider increasing the number of such stores after examining customer reviews and other factors.

Over 40 cameras at the new store will identify the items picked up and held by customers, who will be able to pay after standing in a designated zone where the bill is calculated automatically, according to the company.

The store will sell about 700 items, far fewer than the around 3,000 available at an ordinary outlet. An employee primarily responsible for stacking shelves will manage the store alone.

The sales floor of the new store is about one-third of that of an ordinary outlet.

The outlet “will be an effective solution to the issue of personnel shortages and help reduce costs,” FamilyMart President Kensuke Hosomi told a news conference Tuesday, adding that major effects will be obtained mainly in urban areas.

Domestic rivals Seven-Eleven Japan Co. and Lawson Inc. are also testing outlets with unmanned payment systems.

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