Vending machines might (again) be the future of shopping
Every time a friend of mine returns from a Eurotrip, it’s not the culture, not the architecture, not the history they’re head over heels for.
Usually, it’s something like this: “Man, did you know you can get burgers in vending machines over there?!”
Apparently, yes, you can do just this in Euro destinations such as Amsterdam; order hamburgers and other hot food items in vending machines.
And much as this appears revolutionary to what we’ve come to expect from vending machines, a similar shopping movement is among us that’s bound to change that belief yet again.
A recent feature in the Houston Chronicle has detailed how the future of shopping might lie in vending machines – known these days as “automated kiosks” – which have become anything but a place to grab just a Coke, Snickers or bag of Doritos.
We’ve seen these souped-up kiosks here in Canada so far, where DVDs, ice cream and the like are available, but the movement is really gaining steam at malls, drug stores and supermarkets south of the border.
At kiosks now in the States, shoppers can peruse clothing, iPods, beauty products and designer handbags, among other items, for purchase.
Indeed, the success of these modern vending machines isn’t so much seen in their novelty – “Hey, cool, a Coach purse!” – but in their returns. According to the Chronicle, the compact automated kiosks can earn as much as $10,000 per square foot each year in a retail space, as opposed to $300 per square foot each year, which is what a traditional mall store brings in.
So, the bigger question: if automated kiosks are so successful, aren’t these things a legitimate threat to retail jobs going forward?
You won’t be able to get anything and everything from vending machines, surely. Clothing, for one, is something people will always want to try on and interact with before they buy.
But what about a store like HMV or, on a bigger scale, Shoppers Drug Mart? Aren’t those places made up exclusively of items that could be catalogued, stored and called upon when desired within an automated kiosk?
What do our readers think? Would you be just as likely to shop from an automated kiosk as you would a traditional storefront?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: RFP | Aug 19, 2021 1:29:57 PM
It seems that the more we become techno gadget crazy the more we are pushing away from one on one service and eschewing people for the machine. The ironic thing in all this is we are fast becoming a nation made up of fast food, fast shopping, fast entertainment and other like things with little care or though for all those displaced souls that are now out of a wage so they can buy the fast food, fast shopping, fast entertainment.
Do not get me wrong, I love gadgets but I would easily sacrifice the next new thing to come across my path so that someone can keep their job, but the levity at which companies will turn to to make more and more profit is purely at the cost of poor sap that gets laid off for their own gain and there in lies the sin and wickedness of this generation.
Governments want to talk about producing jobs then make it illegal for a company to sacrifice jobs just so they can have more profit in their quarterly statements. IMO running a company and producing material to sell should be about making something people want to buy but also producing jobs not finding ways to cut those jobs for their own gain.
Posted by: dave | Aug 19, 2021 4:24:54 PM
yeah ok...........unemployment will soon reach 20% if we go ahead with this
Posted by: ForbiddenSword | Aug 19, 2021 10:08:33 PM
Someone will be need to build these vending machines, and the factory lines need to be built, how about the call centers that support them and the maintenance people to keep them running. IT people for the call centers and factories as well as all the people to build and clean these new buildings. Moving to a purely industrial workforce is appealing to me. If there was still such thing as customer service I may have a different opinion. People will still be required to help sell certain things. But I like to do my own research and pick the product up. Look at how bad a McDonald's burger is put together.. The lettuce is hanging out one side and the tomato on the other, at least now you can call it a stupid machine instead of seeing that someone can have that little respect for their job no matter what their paid.
Posted by: snernie | Aug 19, 2021 11:59:51 PM
yes, watch them on the street eyeing your wallet instead. that makes sense.
at least on the street, they can have a sense of pride instead of selling their day away for what, 30 bucks take-home.
maybe they eat the same slop they are serving, and their attitude is merely a reflection of their diet.
Posted by: CaptCrunch | Aug 20, 2021 12:10:08 AM
They have clothing vending in Canada.
Posted by: snernie | Aug 20, 2021 12:16:13 AM
just watched the slow motion relocation of the auto industry.
my hunch is that these machines will be made elsewhere. where labour can be
fully exploited (not on our shores). so no new jobs.
call centers for the most part have already migrated offshore for the same reason. so no jobs here either.
maybe the kid who makes 25 to 30 bucks a day at McD's will lose that job. and gain some of the self-respect back that they lost by working there.
Posted by: don | Aug 23, 2021 12:51:49 PM
In regard to the employment issue......how long do you think it will take them to figure out it does not matter if it is a little cheaper when your customers no longer have jobs and cant buy what is in the machine anyway.
Posted by: bonk | Aug 25, 2021 8:37:34 PM
simply put, they are moving their factories to the next demographic.
the fatcats that are making these decisions are only gaining by pulling the rug out from under us. they see billions of customers suddenly emerging from poverty. leaving a few hundred million people in the lurch is small potatoes to them.
Posted by: carpet cleaning denver | Feb 23, 2022 9:54:37 PM
Call centers are very rampant nowadays. IT people are aware of the things which are happening on the technologies and gadgets. Technology brings out the best of everything to the people. And now, everything today was very dependent on the technology provides.