The first Smart Convenience Store opened in 2017 in Dixville, Estree, with the goal of keeping this type of business in small municipalities, without employees, did not fulfill the promises.
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After several relaunch attempts, Dixville Solidarity Cooperative’s Smart Convenience Store closed its doors two years ago and the assets went into liquidation in July 2021.
The innovative concept of convenience store members having an electronic key and being able to help themselves and pay for their purchases 24 hours a day has failed.
“The civil force in Dixville is not sufficient to maintain the rate of cash flow required to repay our loans within 5 years as provided in the contracts”, declared President Cynthia Corbeil when she had to put the key. Under the door.
This is a good solution for this village of about 730 residents where it is not economically viable to open a traditional convenience store.
Interest is reduced
Initially, 150 members contributed $100 to set up a convenience store. “We’ve had great support from the public,” Ms. Corbeil admits interest has waned. We have had setbacks […] There was always a disaster. ” The new technology to make computerized payments is slow to work. Supplying supplies when the fridge is not bursting has become a challenge for volunteers.
“People had a mindset that it didn’t work and they struggled to come back later, especially since the products were sold a little more expensive than elsewhere,” said Sylvain Benoit, Dixville’s general manager.
The municipality, which provided $10,000 in recurring funding in the first years, eventually turned off the tap.
Unable to honor its financial commitments, Patience sold its assets to pay off its impatient creditors. Citizens have purchased a building that serves as their residence.
A trend in urban centers
Despite this failure in the village, small 100% self-service markets are now springing up in urban centers where there is no shortage of customers.
This is particularly the case at some of the Isle 24 markets found in Montreal and Toronto – where a mobile application allows you to unlock the convenience store’s door, scan its contents and pay with a card.
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