HomeOPINIONIs this the future of convenience retail?

Is this the future of convenience retail?

The corner dairy is an iconic aspect of New Zealand, visible in almost every community throughout out the country.  They play a critical role in our economy, providing a convenient place to quickly grab essentials without having to go to an actual supermarket. 

Having grown up in rural Clevedon, the dairy’s role was exactly this – to sell essentials and save people the 20-or-so minute drive to the nearest supermarket.  This said, they can also be hugely inconvenient when you arrive to find them closed at 10:00pm, leaving you with no milk for breakfast.  

More often than not you have to just grin and bear it and dash down first thing in the morning to restock the fridge.  I’m willing to bet that more than a few of you will be nodding along with this scenario, and if this post ever finds its way to Swedish entrepreneur Robert Illijason I know he will be. 

Illijason lives in the small rural town of Viken with a population of roughly 4,200 people (according to Reuters).  

A few years ago Illijason faced just this problem. He was on his own with a screaming 7-month-old baby and managed to drop his last pot of baby food, meaning he had to drive 20 minutes to the nearest store for more, as the local shop was closed for the evening.  This problem lead to Illijason’s Innovation – a completely unmanned corner store that runs on trust, and a mobile app. 

​Illijason’s unmanned store could well represent the future of convenience retail, and could prove a welcome change here in New Zealand.

For a more detailed video about Illijason’s store, download The Amazery and check out our March 18th update.

Theo de Monchy is an innovation planner at Previously Unavailable. Find him on LinkedIn here.

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