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Employee-Free Store

— September 25, 2006 — Business
A new store in Florida, Calling Get & Go, takes automation to a whole new level. Instead of employees, the entire store is serviced by a set of automated kiosks. The structure requires less space than a traditional store, less money to operate, and yes, less people.

From Kiosk Marketplace:
Calling Get & Go Express an “unmanned c-store” might be a bit misleading. It not only doesn't have a staff, but the goods are all stocked in machines facing outward. What's more, it doesn't have tobacco, alcohol, gas or lotto tickets — c-store staples. And its profit margins are even more distinct from its traditional cousin.

Founder Jeff Parsons is building the chain on a simple idea. He realized removing the employees would widen margins to the point that it was feasible, even without the traditional high-margin items that require employees to verify age. And he's augmenting his efforts with kiosk technology: deploying DVD rental kiosks and ATMs in the mix.

“When you talk about margins, right now across the board, we're running at 60-62 percent profit margins,” Parsons said, comparing them to the 30-40 percent margins of a regular c-store.
Trend Themes
1. Automated Stores - The trend of opening automated stores without any human intervention is disrupting the retail industry by saving space, reducing operational costs, and maximizing profit margins.
2. Kiosk Technology - The increasing use of kiosk technology in stores is disrupting the retail industry by eliminating the need for human employees and providing greater convenience for customers.
3. Employee-free Retail - The trend of employee-free retail stores is disrupting the industry by allowing retailers to maximize profits while reducing or eliminating labor costs.
Industry Implications
1. Retail Industry - The retail industry should explore automated and employee-free models to reduce costs and increase profit margins.
2. Kiosk Industry - Companies in the kiosk industry can capitalize on the trend of automated retail stores and offer innovative kiosk solutions to retailers.
3. Grocery Industry - The grocery industry can explore the trend of employee-free retail stores to reduce labor costs and experiment with innovative store formats and models.
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