Checkout-free hotel convenience store in Yokohama, Japan
Using biometric authentication technology
Zippin announced the launch of its latest retail format: a hotel convenience store. Zippin's partner, Fujitsu, the leading systems integrator in Japan, has worked with Koyo Group to implement the world's first checkout-free store within a hotel at the Yokohama Techno Tower Hotel. It is also the first store in Japan open to the general public to use biometric authentication technology to verify customers' identities.
WIth this partnership, the store operator is keeping shoppers and workers safe during the pandemic with a cashierless checkout, eliminates stress of lines and wait times, and raises customer satisfaction by optimizing the product lineup.
The grab-and-go Green Leaves + store which sells pre-packaged food and beverages as well as fresh bento box meals, opened early this year as a pilot and customers are able to enter the store via smartphone app. Customers must register their credit card information, and then enter the store with the QR code displayed on the Green Leaves + app. Customers can also use the multi-biometric authentication technology that links their palm vein and facial recognition information with the smartphone application. After registering this in advance, a smart phone is no longer required for entry, just a simple swipe of the palm.
Koyo will start full-scale operation at the store in April 2021. Early analytics suggest Koyo has relatively high traffic during the 9 hours it's open every day. Shoppers are spending an average of 113 seconds in the store which is considerably fast considering the size of the store and variety of items furthering Zippin's "zip in and out" approach.
"We believe that there is big growth potential for checkout-free retail in Japan. The Green Leaves + store at Yokohama Techno Tower Hotel is helping to lead the way to a better retail experience at hotels, hospitals, and other places where people need convenient access to food and drinks," said Zippin Co-Founder and CEO Krishna Motukuri.
In addition to hotels, Koyo also operates convenience stores and restaurants in more than 500 hospitals. This first hotel convenience store will also be a model for how checkout-free technology could work in a hospital setting – where people need 24 hour access to food and drink – without having to require a constant staffing presence. The new store is part of a multi-phase expansion plan by Koyo to ultimately create new convenient foodservice concepts for hospitals.
"Any store that provides all-hours access is an ideal location for checkout-free technology, because the stores can be kept open without having to maintain staffing levels, especially in off-peak periods," added Motukuri.