i-mall: The new trend of robotic stores starts in Nea Smyrni
The new Gen Z friendly store operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In fact, free Wi-Fi, chargers for mobile phones are provided and it is also accessible to people with disabilities
i-mall Holdings “entered” dynamically in the Greek market, with the new store in Nea Smyrni being the talk of the town.
i-mall’s goal by 2025 is to have achieved the development of 50 stores in the country and 80 by the period 2026-2027.
After Nea Smyrni, the next stop for the robotic store is Kallithea. The opening of the first store took place on Saturday (30/7/2022) and already 64 interested parties have expressed their desire to climb the “wave” of the new trend created by the company, as the expansion of the Franchise is estimated to take place throughout Greece, even in the island country.
Franchise and profitability
The amount that the franchisee needs to invest in the development of an i-mall robotic store is 200 thousand euros and it is estimated that within the next 3.5 years it will have managed to recoup the investment.
The successful business model, with a daily store turnover of about 750 euros, is based on the low operating cost of the store as the existence of an employee is required in order to control it remotely and the rest of the functions are entirely undertaken by the vending machines.The inspection of the entire store is carried out remotely via mobile phone and the physical presence required is only for the refueling of the vending machines (with the details of which products must be replenished made known through the mobile phone), as well as for serving the public (from 10 am to 2 pm at the store of Nea Smyrni) in case someone has a problem in making the purchase or transaction.
But how does an i-mall robotic store work?
Entering the place, one can see that there are only vending machines.
The three vending machines have a total of over 3,000 pieces of products belonging to 300 codes. The codes include beers but also some other drinks (eg gin tonic in a can), soft drinks, savory and sweet snacks, candies, chewing gum, pet food, as well as chargers, etc.
The innovation, unlike other vending machines, is that the i-mall patent can accommodate products of different sizes on its shelves.
All payments are made electronically and the products are delivered sterile. The new Gen Z friendly store operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In fact, free Wi-Fi, chargers for mobile phones are provided and it is also accessible to people with disabilities.
Payments are made through debit or credit card, e-wallets, while there is also the possibility of using the so-called i-mall coins, a solution that facilitates the making of purchases mainly by children, an age group to which this robotic store is largely addressed.
The parent “buys” some such electronic coins, which he can transfer to the child’s mobile, and can use them for his purchases in the store.
Orders are placed via touchscreen, or through the App, which is due to be released within the next 15 days.
With a QRcode that the consumer will receive on his mobile phone while on his way to the store, he will be able to receive his order easily, quickly and earning points as part of a loyalty program.
In fact, personalized offers and a personalized customer loyalty program are provided.
Skroutz Point also operates in the store and through an agreement has been made with i-mall there will be an “exchange” of points in the loyalty programs.
When someone makes purchases from one company he will have some points in the loyalty program of the other. The maximum limit of pieces per order is 6.
The payment system was created by Warply in collaboration with Cardlink, using a new generation of self-service POS in the vending machines of the stores for transactions using a card and wallet. The musical experience has been undertaken by Panik Entertainment Group through the continuous flow of Panik TV that is shown in the i-mall Micro Market stores.