Within three weeks, the store at Ausstellungsstrasse 10 in Zurich was converted into the first Spar Express forecourt store operating without onsite personnel. The 50m2 store offers about 1,000 products for everyday shopping including bread and bakery products, fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meat, drinks, basic food items, hygiene articles and car accessories.
Access to the new 24/7 Spar Express is made simple through Fast aXs technology, which allows customers to enter the store by scanning a QR code at the entrance with their smartphone and accepting the terms and conditions.
Customers do not need to download an app or register and the door can be opened by smartphone. The items are also scanned with the smartphone and payment is made by Twint, credit or debit card, or with Apple Pay or Google Pay.
The store is equipped with cameras and sensors. If customers have questions or face any challenges in the shopping process, information is provided online instantly and additional support is offered. Sales in the Spar Express are monitored via an app that ensures that the store is always replenished with fresh food. Customers purchasing fuel can pay at the Avia petrol station with a fuel card, debit or credit card or cash.
For customers who are not familiar with QR code scanning, students were present in-store to help in the first few days following the opening.
Spar Switzerland and Avia intend to open additional unattended 24/7 Spar Express forecourt stores.
Installing unattended ‘Spar Go24’ retail units outside urban centres, for example in neighbourhoods without nearby shopping facilities, is also part of Spar Switzerland’s growth strategy.
“These small retail units are primarily intended to complement the existing Spar stores in order to offer customers 27/4 shopping. This means that those working early or late shifts can enjoy a fresh coffee with croissants or a light meal,” said André Scherrer, Spar Switzerland’s sales director.
Tom Rose, head of operations at Spar International, added: “Spar is always on the lookout for opportunities to enhance our customers' shopping experience in line with our goal of providing customers with fresh products, high quality and convenience. It is great to see the launch of this solution in Switzerland, using the latest state-of-the-art technology to bring a frictionless retail offering to shoppers 24/7.”