From the Blog

June 5, 2017

Last chime for Convenience stores in Thailand

Could the dream of owning a 7/11 store be a thing of the past and used knickers the future?

Looking around Asia you can see every where automation taking on these smaller convenience stores, potentially slowly confining them to the history books. Where we in Southeast Asia and particularly Thailand  were brought up on mama’ & papa’s stores, to then be converted to 7/11 and lately Family Marts and Tesco Lotus stores…………. which seem to be now on every street corner, Japan may be showing us the future…..

 

Japan has 5.52 million vending machines, (according to the nation’s tourism board) and holds the title of the number one country in the world with 23 people per vending machine. The annual income of all vending machines is worth up to; 7,000,000,000,000 Yen or about 2.2 trillion baht.

 

Orange egg and banana vending machines

 

While the majority dispense soft drinks, the remaining contain all manner of products from the every-day umbrellas, to those that only dispense either fresh chicken eggs, oranges and bananas, to the more bizarre

‘Fish in a Bottle’… apparently each bottle contains a whole flying fish in a fish stock. Added to the menu of food vending machines are those that sell Pizzas, burgers & fries, hotdogs, canned food and popcorn, along with all manner of ice cream and confectionary machines.

 

Fish in a bottle

Fish in a bottle

 

Face Masks: the picture shows a machine selling, Face Masks hand tissues and hokkairo small pads with chemicals that heat up during several hours when exposed to the oxygen in the face masksair. Hokkairo are inexpensive, typically provide 8-12 hours of continuous heat.

They come in different temperature ranges, with the hottest hitting peak temperatures of 70 C. Most operate at around 50-63 C. Some hokkairo are designed to be placed in a jacket pocket, others to be placed in shoes to keep your toes warm. Another popular design comes with an adhesive backing so that they can be placed on your back under a jacket. Avoid sticking them directly to your skin to avoid getting burned! (By Hokkairo)

 

Rice: There are numerous types of rice vending machines in Japan: Some sell uncooked rice already polished (having the husk or outer brown layers removed), or unpolished for a little bit less money.

 

 

Booze machines in Japan: Beer and liquor vending machines are seen as popular as cigarette machines. How does the Japanese government make sure kids aren’t using them machines, I hear you ask………… As if by magic, they’re all turned off between the hours of, 11 PM and 6 AM.

 

Booze sales

 

 

Keeping Fresh: There are a huge range of machines vending toiletries and perfumes, along with fresh underwear for both him and her, on top of that they also have those that sell used women’s underwear…. I kid you not….. and no I don’t know….. if they are more expensive than clean ones.

 

women's used underwear

Used women’s underwear for sale

Strange combinations

Food and foot socks… someone must have thought that it would be a good idea to sell socks with fish, sushi and crisps! ….. My favorite must be Condoms and Energy Drinks sold side by side, all they are missing are the booze and cigarettes machines and you have all the ingredients for a good night!

 

Condoms and energy drinks

 

Not to be out done by their neighbours, China has its own unique machines. What you’re looking at is a vending machine that dispenses live crabs. Yes, living crabs are stored in plastic containers at 5 degrees Celsius, and sold for between $1.50 and $7.

 

live crab sold from vending machines

Live crabs sold from vending machines in China

7/11 are fighting back

7/11 is fighting back and those in Japan are providing both Mashed potatoe vending machines….Why? And first found in Hong Kong, machines that vend coke, this may not seem new but these are different. Within seconds of turning the resealed bottle upside down, the cola begins to thicken and turn into an icy slush. Opening the bottle and pouring it into a cup only quickens the process. Within a minute, the bottle or glass is worthy of being a 7-11 Slurpee.

 

 

vending in Thailand

 

While it may seem farfetched to talk about the demise of convenience store in Thailand, vending machines and Ticket Issuing Machines for transport systems are already here. Thailand already has Toilet Paper and sim card vending machines found in shopping marts and cinemas, plus coin operated machines for dispensing motor fuel. Laundry machines and a huge market of clean water vending machines,  ……………………….. so who says the age of the machine will not eventually take over in the Kingdom?

 

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