Date
28 May 2017
Pierre and Benny are planning to add new applications to their vending machine such as lucky draw functions if there is a demand. Photo: HKEJ
Pierre and Benny are planning to add new applications to their vending machine such as lucky draw functions if there is a demand. Photo: HKEJ

Here’s a cheaper way for retailers to tap the tourist market

As the retail sector suffers from a slump, operators try every way to shrink their costs in order to survive the downtrend.

Pierre and Benny, both managers of a tech firm, came up with an idea to help them do just that.

Long used to developing automation systems for customers, mostly from the retail sector, the duo hit on the idea of building a souvenir vending machine after having a discussion with a hotel operator.

Their first machine is now installed in the lobby of a hotel in To Kwa Wan in eastern Kowloon, selling items priced under HK$100 (US$12.89).

The touch screen also offers updated tourist information such as events and new attractions, Benny tells the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

The main benefit of a vending machine is savings on rental and labor costs.

However, the two said finding the right location is often the biggest hurdle.

They plan to focus on the hotel industry to expand their business.

Based on feedback from customers, they will need to add new features such as the ability to sell theme park tickets.

Once they have established the brand, they might target shopping malls next.

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RA

EJ Insight writer

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