The richest man in the Philippines, Henry Sy (施至成), is to start rolling out robots next year to help customers navigate his massive shopping malls.
Initially three androids are to be deployed in the first quarter of next year in SM Megamall, the nation’s second-biggest shopping center, said Steven Tan (陳森原), chief operating officer for the shopping malls of SM Prime Holdings Inc.
The talking bots would provide directions, and information on promotions and events, Tan said.
Megamall, among the biggest in Southeast Asia, spans 477,000m2, or an area equivalent to about 89 football fields, and serves about 277,000 people every day.
If the pilot is successful, the group would also roll out the robots at its biggest shopping center, SM North Edsa, and other major malls, Tan said.
“Customer service is at the core of everything that we do, and we always aim to make the shopping experience fun and seamless,” Tan said.
SM Prime’s three largest malls attract a daily foot traffic equivalent to 10 percent of Metro Manila’s 13 million population. Its 72 malls nationwide haul in more than 3.5 million customers a day.
Sy, who migrated from China’s Fujian Province and built his wealth from a shoe store he opened in Manila in 1948, expanded into shopping malls in the 1980s.
The robots are to provide information to customers through an interactive, seamless and real-time platform, said Cal-Comp Technology (Philippines) Inc, the provider and producer of the androids.
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