Euro Coop

COOP opened the first automatic store in the Czech Republic

COOP opened the first automatic store in the Czech Republic

The new concept allows customers to shop outside the standard opening hours. Customers just need to be equipped with a bank identity and their smartphone.

For the first time, customers will be able to do shopping in Czech Republic independently thanks to the first COOP automatic store in the country, located in the small historic city of Strakonice. The project was implemented after accurate research on new customers’ habits and needs.
According to Lukáš Němčík, COOP Development and Marketing Director, shopping habits and consumer preferences are changing, so it's time for COOP retailers to adapt to their needs. It is along this line that 
COOP Czech completely renovated its store in Strakonice:

"We believe the concept of automatic stores has the greatest potential in small and medium-sized cities due to the changing structure of customers, most of whom require most flexible services. In these areas, for example, only large shops on the outskirts, which are often only accessible by car, are open in the early evening or in the weekends. For fast shopping, a 24/7 automatic store within walking distance is an ideal solution” explains Němčík.

Because COOP is testing the implementation of automatic systems in different formats, the opening of a second automatic store is already planned for the coming months: it will be in Český Krumlov and it will be even bigger than the inaugural outlet.

Is digitalization the future of business?

According to Pavel Kozler, executive director of the Knowinstore agency, which is behind the technical solution of the whole concept, it is a matter of time that digitalization is introduced fully in the retail business.
 
"Different automatic store concepts are emerging around the world, for example in South Korea these stores are already quite common. Great development can also be registered in the Scandinavian countries and in Western Europe. We carefully follow current trends in retail, and we try to bring the best examples from abroad to the Czech Republic. We actively combine two worlds – the development companies and the traditional retail networks. In this case, we implemented our own innovative solution, which is not only efficient but also affordable.“ says Kozler.
 
How does the automatic store work?

Doing shopping in the automatic COOP store is quite easy. Customers just need a banking identity, which is used for digital identity verification, and a special smart app. After the first login on the app via the bank identity, customers will receive a QR code each time they visit the store.


"Every visitor to the store will be uniquely identified thanks to this system. Customers will be able to leave the store with the purchase only after verification of payment " adds Němčík. 

The payment is made by card through self-service cash registers, which are now quite common in modern stores. This process makes payments as easy and fast as possible for customers, while providing the highest possible level of security. Talking about safety, the entire store space is under the complete supervision of a camera system connected to the central security desk. This connection gives the opportunity to solve possible complications as well as theft attempts. Shoppers can also use the emergency button to connect to remote security. Based on bank identity, COOP can also sell alcohol products, since they all require 18+ age verification.

 

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