JD.com to Open Unmanned Convenience Stores
Smart tech is poised to make a trip to the local convenience store even easier. For shop operators, integrating technology into the procurement process will facilitate inventory management and daily store operations. JD.com, China’s largest retailer and a pioneer in smart store solutions, has linked up with leading Chinese real estate developer China Overseas Land & Investment LTD. (COLI) with the goal of opening hundreds of unmanned convenience stores leveraging COLI’s real estate resources across China.
JD began testing its unmanned convenience store solution at its headquarters in Beijing in October. The JD Unmanned Convenience Store, developed fully in-house by JD’s logistics innovation lab JDX is powered by JD’s own technology and algorithms. It offers a complete solution integrating various smart technologies such as RFID, facial recognition and image recognition. The JD HQ store’s first few months in operation have already seen average daily customer flow around 1,000 and repeat purchasing rate nearing 70%.
The space for the new stores across China will be provided by COLI, while JD will fully integrate its self-developed technology and provide support in operating the stores leveraging its expertise in supply chain and logistics.
Thanks to JD’s leadership in advanced technology and continued commitment to opening its technology to empower others, JD is well-positioned to support COLI to develop a smart city solution in China. The smart city solution will integrate JD’s unmanned convenience store solution and an “automated pharmacy” – a vending machine that can hold up to 1,500 boxes of medicine and features smart inventory replenishment leveraging JD’s smart supply chain.
In addition, it is also expected to incorporate JD’s smart logistics solutions such as autonomous delivery vehicles for last-mile delivery. The vehicles have pre-programmed routes and secure lockers, enabling customers to select a preferred delivery time and location to easily retrieve their purchases.