We’ve seen unmanned restaurants in the past, but this is the first time we’re hearing of a completely staff-free convenience store. The shop, located in the Swedish village of Viken, is open 24×7, all year round; its doors can be unlocked at any time using a simple smartphone app. It’s pretty much like a physical version of an e-commerce website – customers walk in, pick up merchandise, and scan their purchases through the app. The entire transaction is completed within minutes.
The futuristic store is the brainchild of Viken resident Robert Ilijason, who came up with the idea when he ran out of baby food and had to drive 12.4 miles to find the nearest open shop. That’s when he realised that his village needed a 24×7 store for emergencies and developed an app called Näraffar (shop nearby) that can be used to manage such a place. The app was approved by Apple in January, and Robert launched the store in an old post office building. He claims that it has been running smoothly with no hiccups so far.