It’s one thing to ‘just walk out’, the strapline for Amazon’s Fresh stores where you don’t have to head to a checkout to pay, quite another to have a store come to you.
Robomart is a store that acts in roughly the same manner as an Uber car. The user has an account and hails a vehicle that is in fact a pharmacy or a limited range essentials convenience store. When it arrives, it is unlocked by a Robomart app generated QR code and the shopper then selects from what’s on view and is charged automatically.
As such this is in that grey area that lies somewhere between a physical shop and a delivery being made once an order has been placed online.
Those wishing to see the two Robomart vans that have just launched will need to be in a roughly five square mile area of Los Angeles’ West Hollywood.
At the moment, the vans have drivers, but should driverless vehicles prove up to the job, regulations permitting, Robomart managers intend to turn them, effectively, into delivery robots-cum-mobile stores. Changing times.