The new FamilyMart Saedo Store opened on April 2, 2019 in Yokohama city, Kanagawa prefecture in Japan, but it wasn’t like many such convenience stores around the country.
The new store is a joint demonstration project between FamilyMart and Panasonic that will utilize internet of things (IoT) technologies and various data to make operations more efficient and profitable.
In a company blog post, Panasonic said it will be testinging out diverse activities and demonstrate various technologies within the store.
These technologies include facial recognition process payment and detect physical objects, a work assist system that use of cameras and sensors to digitize information in the store, digital place of purchase signs and price tags that replace the need for production and replacement of printed product info.
“By combining conventional POS data with dwell time heatmaps created from in-store cameras and sensors, along with smartphone questionnaire responses, the store can realize management based on actionable data, which leads to flexibility in store layouts and selection of goods that are more convenient for customers,” Panasonic said,
The store also integrates the analog and digital to create a more comfortable store atmosphere, and allows customers to order and pay for goods via a smartphone app.
Headquartered in Tokyo, FamilyMart is Japan's second largest convenience store chain and operates approximately 17,000 convenience stores across the country. Worldwide, it has over 24,000 stores, including those in Taiwan, China, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Going forward, the company said it will proactively use AI and IoT technologies to create next-generation convenience stores that meet the desires of its customers.
Based on its vision of "Gemba Process Innovation," Panasonic said it is using it vast expertise and years of experience in the manufacturing industry to bring about innovations in supply chain management for retail stores and warehouses.