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Un-Staffed Convenience Stores Coming to Hanoi in 2018

The Hanoi People's Committee has given the go-ahead for automated convenience stores to start operating in the city this year as part of its e-commerce plans. 

As VnExpress reports, customers will be required to scan QR codes on their smartphones in order to make a purchase. These cashless transactions will take Vietnam a step closer to a potential cash-free society by making use of digital purchase platforms. 

In November last year, Vietnam's first automated convenience store opened in Saigon, although customers have at times been left disappointed by empty shelves and a lack of shopping bags, the news source shares. There were also issues with Vietnamese language availability for mobile payment apps. 

The chain behind the move, Toromart, has already announced its intention to expand its services beyond Saigon. The move also fits in with Hanoi's plan to push online retail to 8% of total retail turnover in 2018.

Automated convenience stores are very popular in places like Japan and South Korea, but remain relatively new to Vietnamese consumers. What's more, unlike traditional grocery stores, they tend to focus on beverages and fast food, which may not bode well for Vietnam's growing child obesity issues. 

[Photo via VietNamNet]

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