Alza is a special so-called ‘future store’ in the Czech Republic, that is open 7/24 and operates without cashiers. Mno.hu reports that Jan Moudrík, expansion and facility director of Alza said that they are planning on opening stores like this in Hungary next year.
Even though the Alza store in Prague was built from about 200 thousand euros, its maintenance cost is half of the regular stores’ cost. It is open every hour on every day whether it is weekend or holidays.
It is a self-serving store, which means there are no cashiers working in the facility.
Therefore, it rather looks like a corridor with big cupboards. Customers can choose products on a digital screen and pay for them with their credit or debit cards. After a successful transaction, they can follow the LED lights lighting up on the floor that lead them to their box. There, they can find all the items they bought. These boxes exist in several sizes so that they can be suitable for all the products no matter how small or big they are. In case customers need help, they can talk to an assistant through video chat anytime.
Today, there is one Alza store open in the Czech Republic. It has 40 machines and boxes in more than a hundred different sizes.
It can serve more than a thousand customers per day.
Because it is nonstop, it is open every hour on every day. For the time being, it is yet unknown how popular the store will be. There are a lot of customers who like touching the products, according to György Vámos, general secretary of OKSZ (National Trading Association). On the other hand, if someone does not need to touch the products physically, they can shop online. One thing is for sure, if this shopping method turns out to be successful, it can be expanded for any shopping, even for stores like Spar, Tesco or IKEA.
These days, the latest digital methods in supermarkets are the self-service cash desks. They exist in Spar, Tesco and IKEA stores as well. There, people can scan the products and pay for them. Nóra Hevesi, communication director of Tesco, said that Tesco has about 550 cash desks of this type nationally. These cash desks are getting more and more popular.
Tesco’s brand new idea is the so-called scan&shop.
With its help, customers can scan the products they put in their shopping cart. As they get to the cash desk, they just hand the scanner over and pay for the items without unpacking them from the trolley.
First of all, Alza’s management is developing and testing their new method. Furthermore, they want to open two or three more Alza stores in the Czech Republic. Finally, if the stores are successful,
they want to bring their system to Budapest.
Hopefully, we will be able to try this brand new idea here in Hungary next year.
Here is a list of other unusual Hungarian stores as well.
Featured image: www.alza.cz