Woolworths is opening a cash-free ‘micro’ store in Sydney this week.
The supermarket giant is trialling a convenience-style cashless shop targeted at city workers.
The 50 metre square shop will have very limited stock and will focus on ready-to-go breakfasts, lunches, snacks and drinks, putting it squarely up against convenience retailers.
The store is named Metro Go Strawberry Hills and is located in Sydney’s Surry Hills at 407 Elizabeth Street.
Jeff Rogut, CEO of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) said he was pleased with the innovation in the industry.
“Good to see Woolworths trialling this now ‘frictionless’ store format,” said Rogut.
AACS members visited similar stores in China in 2018 and the USA in October 2019 as part of its overseas study tour.
“There is no doubt about their efficiency and popularity in the right areas,” Rogut said.
“We evaluated a ‘nano’ store concept format this year in LA and whether it is this or the Amazon Go format or the developing Zippin concept, convenience retailers are trying to make life easier and more convenient for their customers,” Rogut said.
Rogut also said there were also the labour efficiency benefits to consider.
“There will be challenges with important categories such a tobacco in these formats however the industry will no doubt find a solution,” he said.