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Fully automated store opens in Finland

Shopping during the pandemic is a very different experience. Distancing measures, more contactless payments and deliveries are the new staples.

And customers in Helsinki can now buy food at Europe’s first fully automated deli store. Neste opened Easy Deli, which uses RFID technology developed in the country by Nordic ID, earlier today.

“Consumer shopping behaviour is changing rapidly. We want to be part of this development and offer new kinds of smoother and faster customer experiences. The Easy Deli product scanner is the first of its kind in Finland and a huge leap forward compared to conventional self-checkouts. This makes the shopping experience much quicker and easier,” said Jukka Peltoniemi who is responsible for automated services at Neste. 

It is the latest innovation transforming the future of convenience shopping. In recent years China has tested various technologies, including a self-driving supermarket. Running off electricity, and equipped with solar panels, the environmentally-friendly autonomous store can be summoned using an app. While in Japan, robotic checkout systems using RFID have also been trialled, as the country seeks smart solutions to deal with a shrinking workforce and ageing population.

With the Easy Deli in Helsinki, there is no need to scan products individually. Customers download the Neste mobile app and after picking up their products, place them on the RFID-based self-checkout, where everything is scanned at the same time in seconds. Payment is made using Apple Pay, Google Pay or a payment card. 

“The idea for this solution was triggered by the changes in consumers’ shopping behaviour. People want to go shopping when it suits them – close to their home and around the clock. They do not want to wait in line and may even abandon their purchases if the line is perceived too long. Using barcode-based self-checkouts may even take longer than traditional manned checkouts. Scanning the barcode of every product may be inconvenient for customers not familiar with the system, making purchasing even slower,” added Juuso Lehmuskoski, CEO of Nordic ID.

More Easy Deli stores are scheduled to open this year.

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Susan Robertson
Written By

Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5 Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and a board member of the APOPO Foundation UK.

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