The population of villages in many European countries is shrinking. It is a disaster for the local people, and due to the declining population density, basic services such as food sales are disappearing from the villages. The operation of the store is expensive and in small villages food stores often disappear. People have to travel to distant cities for food. An idea has been born in Sweden that can solve this problem.
Self-service shops in the villages
A start-up called Lifvs has been set up in Stockholm, which can completely change the problem of the lack of shops in the countryside. As it is the most expensive to employ salespeople in each store, the start-up created unattended stores. This reduces operating costs to a minimum. Current technologies allow stores to operate independently. The stores are made of containers and are brought complete to the required place. The start-up has distributed a total of 20 unmanned shops in Swedish villages, which can be used by locals.
How does shopping work?
In order for customers to be able to shop in such stores, they only need a smartphone. They simply install a special application that lets them into the store and then scan the barcodes of the products they are interested in by phone. Money is deducted from customers’ accounts. The great advantage of Lifvs stores is not only low costs, but also reduced social contact, which is useful in times of coronavirus crisis.
If these shops expand, the problem of lack of shops in the villages will disappear. Residents can visit the shops at any time and buy what they are missing. Shops use artificial intelligence to keep track of what food is missing. Accordingly, these foods are ordered and replenished. Security cameras are also available so that none of the customers try to steal. This is a great inspiration for other countries, where there is the same problem with the lack of shops in the villages. In some areas, food must be imported by a mobile shop, thus addressing the situation in many European countries. Self-service stores can be a better and more cost-effective solution.