Mon, Apr 02, 2018 - Page 15 News List

FamilyMart launches concept store

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

A model in Taipei on Thursday demonstrates how to use an automated coffee dispenser that is to be introduced at select FamilyMart convenience stores.

Photo: CNA

Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利商店) on Thursday last week launched a concept store in Taipei on the intersection of Chongqing S Road and Wuchang Street, beginning a field trial that aims to attract customers to the store while reducing the burden on staff by using digital technologies such as robots and blockchain technology.

The new store marks the beginning of Taiwan FamilyMart’s efforts to transform into a next-generation convenience store chain, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) reported.

In collaboration with Fujitsu Ltd, Microsoft Taiwan Corp (台灣微軟), Plenty Island Taiwan Corp (和椿科技), LWO Technology Co (凌暉科技), BenQ Corp (明基電通) and several other business partners, Taiwan FamilyMart wants to build an open platform where they can receive input from other industries to meet different demands, the newspaper reported.

Taiwan FamilyMart operates the nation’s No. 2 convenience store chain, with 3,168 stores as of Feb. 26, the company said on its Web site.

Taiwan FamilyMart said the concept store provides a unique customer experience, which includes a robot to guide customers around the store, a content delivery service and a video communication solution.

The store’s entrance counter is equipped with a 3D camera to count the number of store visitors, while the use of electronic price tags enables consumers to interact with point-of-sale registers while allowing the store to update stock information automatically, it said.

The concept store also uses digital technologies — including Internet of Things, big data, artificial intelligence, radio frequency identification, near-field communication and blockchain technology — to lessen staff members’ work burdens, from product ordering and goods receiving to item inspection and display, the newspaper said.

While FamilyMart is not planning to open cashier-free stores in the near future, it would add a self-checkout counter at the concept store in the second half of this year, the company said.

The company on Thursday reported a net profit of NT$1.41 billion (US$48.4 million) for last year, up 2.19 percent from the previous year, with record-high earnings per share of NT$6.3.

Consolidated revenue increased 6.38 percent annually from NT$60.57 billion to NT$64.43 billion, thanks to a better product portfolio and contributions from e-logistics businesses, the company said.

The company’s board has approved a cash dividend of NT$5.5 per share, equivalent to a payout ratio of 87.3 percent and a yield of 3.21 percent in terms of its closing share price of NT$171.5 on Saturday.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top