- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
COOP Expands Automated 24/7 Digital Stores Across Czech Republic
COOP, a major Czech retail chain with a network of 2,400 stores, is expanding its automated 24/7 digital stores across the country. These stores operate in two modes: with daytime staff transitioning to automatic mode after regular business hours or being completely automated and remotely monitored. This expansion aims to provide customers with the flexibility to shop at any time, even during the night.
Lukáš Němčík, the Director of Cooperative Stores Development, emphasized that these digital stores offer a wide selection of products, allowing customers to shop not only during regular hours but also on weekends, making them increasingly popular among shoppers.
To use these automated stores, customers need a payment card, bank identification, and the Contio app. After initial login using bank identification, a unique QR code is generated for each store visit, allowing entry. Shoppers can complete their purchases and leave the store after payment verification, with central security ensuring safety.
These automated stores are often established in traditional store buildings, using innovative technology to provide unmanned operations. They have been opened in various locations, including rural areas and urban centers. Some stores use entry barriers with camera analysis to allow access only to registered individuals via the Contio app.
One notable feature is the minimal issue of theft, as the use of bank identification provides robust protection. COOP plans to open fifty more automated stores by the end of the next year, continuing its efforts to modernize and digitize the shopping experience.
The Czech government also supports the development of such hybrid stores through grants and programs aimed at enhancing the retail sector, particularly in rural areas. The Ministry of Industry and Trade provides grants for opening hybrid stores, and there are initiatives to equip small stores in towns with payment terminals.
The expansion of automated digital stores in the Czech Republic reflects the increasing adoption of technology in the retail sector, offering convenience and accessibility to customers while addressing challenges faced by rural stores.
Article by Prague Forum