China sees promising prospects for self-service vending industry

A customer explores the intelligent fresh food vending cabinets in Changsha, Central China’s Hunan Province on August 9. Photo: Sanxiang Metro News

China’s self-service vending industry featuring “Internet + Retail” has entered a period of rapid development in recent years, thanks to big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other technologies.

Several intelligent fresh food vending cabinets recently made their debut in a residential compound in Tianxin district, Changsha city, central China’s Hunan province, selling fresh frozen food, fresh vegetables and fruit, grain, oil, eggs and milk, among other things.


“Now we can buy fresh vegetables and fruit directly downstairs, and the goods are high quality!” said a resident named Huang Jue while scanning the QR code on the cabinet. “The sensor system weighs the goods automatically. After closing the cabinet door, the cost will be deducted directly from the APP wallet, which is very convenient.”


In recent years, with the rapid development of big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other technologies, the overall digital level of the retail industry has greatly improved, bringing in a period of rapid development for the self-service vending industry featuring “Internet + Retail”.


Self-service vending machines have been widely introduced around the country. Machines for beverages and electronic products are very popular in schools, and machines that sell boxed meals are popular in some office districts.


A survey of China’s self-service vending industry conducted by the China Commerce Association for General Merchandise showed that China’s self-service vending industry has developed rapidly in the past five years, with an average annual growth rate of more than 50 percent.


In 2019, there were over 655,000 self-service vending equipment units in China, an increase of 26.6 percent over the previous year. As the number of enterprises in the industry continued to increase, the production scale and equipment ownership has continued to grow.


Furthermore, from the perspective of the existing number of self-service vending units in China, compared with the average of 60 people per unit in developed countries, the number in China was only about 2,200 people per unit in 2019, leaving a great deal of room for growth.


Source: People’s Daily Online

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