Wheelys is a start-up that first came into consumer consciousness with a mobile coffee cart, but it is now launching its first brick-and-mortar shop, which is set to be a model for the convenience store of the future.
The 'Wheelys 247' store in Shanghai, China will be a completely unmanned 24-hour convenience store that allows consumers to make purchases via their mobile devices using the Wheelys 247 app, completely eliminating the traditional checkout process. Use of the app is also what grants a shopper access to the store, which is also a part of its system to deter theft.
This new convenience store is joining the ranks of many restaurants and cafes that are now experimenting with operations that do not involve staff. Other notable examples include Eatsa and Renrenxiang, which rely on the use of smartphones for food-ordering, as well as Cafe-X and Zume Pizza, both of which use robots to prepare food and beverages.