Robert Ilijason in the store in Viken, Photo: P4 Kristianstad
Robert Ilijason in the store in Viken, Photo: P4 Kristianstad

Sweden's first unmanned grocery store about to open

"I want to have the same service in the small town where I live as in the city."
5:00 min

One solution to the problem of shops closing in small communities might be unmanned grocery stores. Swedish innovator Robert Ilijason is about to open such a shop in the small town of Viken in southern Sweden.

He calls it “Country store 2.0”.

Robert Ilijason says he came up with the idea when he dropped the last jar of baby food at home one night, and had to go to the closest open store, in another town, to get more.

The unmanned shop uses an app, which not only opens the door to registered customers, it also functions as a scanner to approve every purchase. Customers receive a monthly bill. In the future, he says, they may be able to ask for new items to be on sale, or place orders, via the app.

Right now, the opening of the first store in Viken is pending Apple’s approval of the app, but there are plans to roll out more shops in other small communities in the surrounding area that lack grocery stores.

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