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Lawson Tries Out Unmanned Store Operation

| Convenience Stores , Yokohama
Lawson Tries Out Unmanned Store Operation

Convenience store giant Lawson is experimenting with operating an outlet that's unmanned overnight to tackle labor shortage.

The store in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, will have no clerks from midnight to 5 a.m. Customers can enter the store using a smartphone app or by having a picture of their face taken at the entrance. They can purchase products using self-checkout devices. Cigarettes and alcohol will not be sold during the unmanned hours.

The rapidly aging society and low birth rate have brought about a critical labor shortage throughout Japan. Convenience stores are facing increasing difficulties operating at night. Lawson’s experiment is scheduled to last for six months.