Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

By Quynh Tran, Anh Tu   August 26, 2021 | 01:00 pm GMT+7
At least eight unmanned grocery stores selling vegetables and meat have been set up in HCMC and Hanoi to help people shop quickly and safely amid Covid-19 restrictions.
Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

An unmanned grocery store set up in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District on August 24. There is another in District 1.

In HCMC, they have been set up by the Department of Industry and Trade and a private company in large tents with shelves inside at apartment complexes.

Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

A truck brings goods at 8 a.m. each day, and staff unload and arrange them on the shelves before leaving. The tents are around 30 square meters in size.

Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

Most of the items are vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, seafood, and spices packed in combinations so that shoppers can make quick purchases.

“There are 60 types of goods packed in seven combos with prices ranging from VND120,000 to VND360,000,” store manager Nguyen Hoang Nha said, adding they are similar to market prices.

Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

A fruit combo costs around VND120,000. Around 400 are sold each day.

Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

Buyers check out by showing the goods to a cashier via webcam. Customers are encouraged to bring exact change.

Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

Linh, who lives in a nearby apartment building, said while putting VND290,000 into the cash box: “Buying combos is quick. I only need to buy once for the whole week.”

Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

Nha said there are some issues with returning change due to the lack of a cashier on site.

The stores, which close at 5 p.m., stock four tons of goods every day. They will operate until social distancing ends.

Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

In Hanoi, retail chain Okono has set up 10-square-meter unmanned outlets in front of its convenience stores.

There are six such stores so far, and it plans to increase it to 10 with priority given to places situated far from markets.

Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

The stores sell vegetables and fruits for VND10,000 per pack. Staff stock goods twice a day.

Unmanned grocery stores pop up in HCMC, Hanoi

Customers pay by putting cash into a box. Those who cannot pay can take what they want and pay after the pandemic ends, a sign at the stores says.

 
 
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