Avec Box: Valora brings checkout-free shopping to Switzerland

In spring 2019, the first store to operate entirely without checkouts is due to open at Wetzikon railway station. Even if this sounds a lot like Amazone Go, it's not Amazone behind it, but Valora.

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Technology is at the heart of this project, according to a statement issued on Thursday morning. "The Avec Box in Wetzikon will be open as long as the law or the landlord (in this case the SBB) allows - ideally seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It has a sales area of around 53 square metres. "A convenience range with a high food and freshness content will be offered - similar to the Avec Stores in Bern, Landquart, Zurich, Wettingen, Saanen-Gstaad and Interlaken, which have been newly launched since mid-July 2018," the company informs.

"Fast and convenient shopping experience."

But it won't work entirely without employees. Even if access and payment are handled via the app, staff will be present on site during the morning and evening rush hours to help customers shop, restock the shelves and keep the premises tidy. "With the Avec Box, Valora is responding to the public's need for flexible shopping options," Roger Vogt, CEO Retail Switzerland at Valora, is quoted as saying in the announcement. "With Avec Box, convenience refers not only to the product range, but also to a practical and fast shopping experience," says Vogt. The planning application has now been submitted to the city of Wetzikon, he said. The aim is for the Avec Box at Wetzikon station to open its doors in spring 2019. As this is a completely new store concept in Switzerland, experience must first be gathered. According to Valora, there are plans for a rollout to other parts of Switzerland, but it is still too early to make any concrete statements.

Future Store coming in April 2019

Valora plans to open the previously announced Future Store at Zurich's main railway station in April 2019. It will be called Avec X and will primarily serve Valora as an experimental laboratory, testing newly developed digital aspects of the shopping experience such as payment options and personalised shopping. There are no plans to roll out Avec X to other regions. The company will provide specific details on the design of Avec Box and Avec X at the appropriate time. (r.)

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