Koyo Group, which operates convenience stores and restaurants in hospitals and other facilities across Japan, has partnered with Zippin and Fujitsu to open a checkout-free store in the Yokohama Techno Tower Hotel in Kanagawa.
The grab-and-go Green Leaves Plus store, which sells pre-packaged food and beverages as well as fresh bento box meals, opened earlier this year as a pilot and will begin full-scale operations in April. Customers can enter the store via a smartphone app after they have registered their credit card information, and then can leave with their items without needing to interact with a cashier. Customers also can register in advance for biometric authentication, eliminating the need for a smartphone and allowing shoppers to enter with a swipe of their palm.
Koyo plans to use the Yokohama Techno Tower Hotel location as a model to develop new foodservice concepts for hospitals, where people need 24-hour access to food and drink and checkout-free technology could eliminate the need for around-the-clock staffing.
“Zippin is excited to work with Fujitsu to power the checkout-free technology for this new Koyo hotel store,” said Krishna Motukuri, Co-Founder and CEO of checkout-free technology provider Zippin in a statement. “We believe that there is big growth potential for checkout-free retail in Japan. Any store that provides all-hours access is an ideal location for checkout-free technology because the stores can be kept open without having to maintain staffing levels, especially in off-peak periods. The opportunities are endless.”