The first unmanned convenience store was launched by the Hong Kong unit of China’s Sinopec Corporation, Sinopec (Hong Kong) Limited. A trial operation of the new store at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai began before China’s October 1 national day holiday, according to reports from Chinese local media.
The store is part of the company’s Easy Joy convenience store chain in Hong Kong. The store sells more than 420 types of products and employs radio-frequency identification (RFID) and electronic payment systems, including Octopus card, Visa/Master card, WeChat Pay, AliPay and other digital wallets.
Sinopec opened its first unmanned Easy Joy convenience store in Beijing, China, in August 2017, where customers can swipe their cards to get in the store, select their purchases, and use their smartphones to pay for their purchases. In the same year, Sinopec collaborated with Chinese e-commerce company Jd.Com to open the same types of stores in Tianjin, Suqian and other districts in China.
Sinopec Easy Joy Sales Co. ranked ninth among the list of China’s top 100 chain stores in 2017, according to the China Chain Store & Franchise Association, with CNY 51.9 billion (USD7.5 billion) in sales. China’s top 100 retail chains posted total revenues of CNY 2.2 trillion (USD318 billion) in 2017, up eight percent year-on-year.