On Monday, February 1st, Migros opened its Voi Cube – a staff-free supermarket – in the canton of Solothurn.
It is the first shop to open in Switzerland without any employees, reports Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes.
Customers use an app to register before purchasing, before choosing their products and checking out independently using hand sensors.
Once payment has been made, people can leave the store through an automatic door.
There are around 500 items on offer.
The company praised the opening, saying it offered much needed convenience – especially in times of coronavirus lockdowns.
“The store will be open around the clock, including on public holidays,” said a Migros spokesperson.
In Grenchen eröffnet der erste «Voi Cube» der Migros – ein Laden, der ganz ohne Angestellte funktioniert. Via App können…
Unions however have criticised the announcement, saying large companies such as Migros – who have benefited from the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent measures – should “invest in people rather than machines”.
“Qualified positions in the retail trade are being replaced. Only temporary workers in precarious working conditions who have to fill the shelves and technicians who do IT maintenance are employed,” the spokesperson said.
“Low wages and fragmented working hours are part of everyday life.”
Calling it a ‘walk-in vending machine’, the company dismissed these concerns.
“The Voi Cube is not a replacement for a branch, it is merely an addition.”