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Contactless Vending Machines Offer Physical Distribution Outlets for Local Brands

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Small and local brands wondering whether their products will appeal to customers who encounter them in the physical world can now get answers to their questions. The PopShop Local program, from smart vending and kiosk solutions provider PopCom, allows small businesses to sell their products via PopShop smart vending machines that measure customer engagement and also display ads. The machines are designed for placement in the common areas of participating hotels across the U.S.

Local brands apply for placement in one of the contactless machines, which typically feature a curated assortment of local souvenirs and products and serves as a modern gift shop. The hotels are not charged for placements, and they also receive a percentage of all sales from each machine. PopShop Local currently has pilots with AC Hotel and JW Marriott, and is in the process of securing a pilot with Virgin Hotel, according to a company release. Currently, the company is accepting applications from small businesses interested in selling their products in hotels, airports or convention centers.

“The hotels we work with embody the spirit of PopShop Local,” said Natasia Malaihollo, who leads Business Development for PopCom, in a statement. “They have a focus on making their hotels not just a place for travelers, but a space for locals to hang out and get to know the city they are in a little better. Our PopShop Local machines highlight the best products in the city at any given time, while providing information about different local events, attractions and announcements. It’s really a resource for all things local.”

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