It has not been an easy start for Shanghai's first two unmanned convenience stores — with both of them having to close soon after opening.
BingoBox operates two container-sized outlets, on Jiangchang Road W. in Zhabei District and Changyang Road in Yangpu District.
The Changyang Road store, which opened on June 5, was shut from last Friday to Tuesday after air-conditioning problems had forced its closure.
The Zhabei District store, which opened on June 12, closed yesterday and is due to reopen on Monday after a data transfer upgrade.
"I used to feel sticky with sweat in the BingoBox," said Zhang Minjun, a 23-year-old customer working near the Jiangchang Road outlet. The shop has floor-to-ceilings windows so the heat quickly builds up in the confined 13-square-meter space.
Vertical air conditioners were installed at both stores this week.
Yangpu District's urban management authority, meanwhile, inspected the outlet in its area yesterday as it was reported to be an illegal construction. BingoBox said it had registered with local authorities and would cooperate with any investigation.
Customers scan codes on the products to pay for them, similar to the self-service tills run by Western supermarkets.
If anyone tries to take an unpaid item out of the store, the door won't open and an alarm will sound.