Zippin, which provides checkout-free technologies for brick-and-mortar retail, announced the launch of its latest retail format: a hotel convenience store. Zippin partnered with Fujitsu, a systems integrator in Japan, to work 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.
The grab-and-go retail operation allows customers to enter the store through an app on their smartphone. 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 is needed.
The first-of-its-kind checkout-free store in a hotel is an ideal retail format for checkout-free technology in that it can run without staff, especially in off-peak periods. The hotel sells packaged food and drink, as wells takeout meals in bento boxes, a popular portable convenience meal in Japan. It makes bento boxes on site.
Koyo will start full-scale operation at the store in April. Zippin said that early analytics suggest Koyo has relatively high traffic during the nine 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.