FamilyMart’s best-performing “vending machine for employees”

FamilyMart will start trial operation of Telexistence (Telexistence, Chuo-ku, Tokyo) and its remote-controlled robot “MODEL-T” in 2020. We started with the work of refilling PET bottled beverages from the backyard to the shelves using Robo, and started a demonstration that expanded the scope to display products such as rice balls and bread. As a result of pursuing a method that can be introduced at low cost in anticipation of multi-store development, it was decided that a robot with narrowed down functions would be more appropriate. Introduce a remote-controlled robot specializing in beverage replenishment. As the first step, in October, we will introduce a semi-autonomous remote control robot that can autonomously and automate some operations by utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) at the FamilyMart Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry store (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo). After that, it will be introduced at multiple stores with different product sales, and the display speed and accuracy will be verified. The verification period is planned to be about two years, and at the same time, preparations for multi-store development, such as setting a fee structure, will be made. Tomohiro Kano, Executive Officer, General Manager of Corporate Office, said, “I want to make it available to franchise owners.” Securing a labor force is one of the issues in store management. Although the labor shortage has been alleviated by the corona disaster, it has not been fundamentally resolved. Executive Officer Kano points out, “We can see that the working-age population is declining. We need to improve structurally.” In preparation for a situation where it becomes more difficult to secure a labor force, we will promote the robotization of in-store work. The introduction of this robot is one solution to how the burden on store staff as well as member store owners can be reduced. Executive Officer Kano emphasizes, “We recognize that this is a part with high potential.” Aim to establish as a new function that promotes smooth store management.