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Lawson to test late-night self-service stores amid labor crunch

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Can here drunk gg's screaming Sooomemaseeen already.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

hear, sorry! ;o)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Try one of these in West Philly. The store will be empty by the morning.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Robots will be better in future than self-service in the conbinis.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I just don't understand this labor shortage. Wasn't it just a while ago that people couldn't find jobs? Young graduates or retirees or what have you, flooded Hello Work and were living day to day as day laborers. What happened to all that??

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I just don't understand this labor shortage. Wasn't it just a while ago that people couldn't find jobs? Young graduates or retirees or what have you, flooded Hello Work and were living day to day as day laborers. What happened to all that??

Abenomics.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Totally pointless. I often visit the combini after midnight. 90% of customers buy cigarettes and alcohol.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What's to prevent thieving?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

There are already self check out counters at Familymarts but no body uses them cause there is always staff around.

These unmanned convenience already exists in China and Taiwan. You can find video about it on YouTube. According to news I read many of them closes down. The reason is quite funny. It is because labor cost in China is relative cheap. On the other hand, the installation and maintenance of self check out machines are high. It is more expensive to run an unmanned one.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just close the store for those hours.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What's to prevent thieving?

Accorfing to news I read for some of these store in China, the door is locked and you need to use your mobile phone to unlock it. You use your phone to pay so they know all your information. I am sure there is lots of security camera in these store, too. Of course you can easily put on a mouth mask, a hoodie and sunglasses. Then push yourself into the store when someone else is entering, grab a bunch of things and force the other person to open the door for you.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The problem is with labor laws and past corporate practices where even those retired persons capable of working choose to work less or want to enjoy retirement over low paying, low prestige, and less exiting jobs outside of their expertise. If they allowed the forced retired to retain jobs worthy of their abilities, then those who do not mind less demanding jobs may continue to fill those jobs now being automated.

Another problem is automation does not have any flexible options, even with extensive AI use.

Any problem which could have been resolved by a "human" interaction such as a simple apology or replacement of an item not satisfactory must now go through an impersonal process which may cause larger problems which require more personnel and time and expenses to resolve on the part of both the claimant and the company.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most food stores have a few self cash out points and are always busy with lines. Most people are not dishonest. Hence lost wallets, purses, bags are usually handed into the police. Many stores have products outside on the street without the items being stolen.

Where I live there's a local farmers stand. Help yourself and leave the money in a tin.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Reckless

Try one of these in West Philly. The store will be empty by the morning. Probably the same for areas around Frankford High and Germantown :)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't care how safe and honest Japan is compared to other countries. There are still some dishonest locals. I've witnessed shoplifting before. Why not just use these vending machines? There are machines which sell simple snacks, like ramen, cookies, drinks, bananas. People can live for a few hours without a convenience store. This is madness.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There's something like over 75 million Japanese citizens of working age.

Are they seriously going to blame this on Japan's labor shortage?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@yoshisan88

There are already self check out counters at Familymarts but no body uses them cause there is always staff around.

I always use self check-out at Family Mart if they're available. Granted, I almost never see anyone else using it. I also use self check-out and check-in at Tsutaya, too. (yes, I still rent DVDs..)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Are they seriously going to blame this on Japan's labor shortage?

Yes. It is because cost cutting makes them look bad so they need an excuse.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Honestly, this is a head scratcher.

So, they won't sell booze or cigs. Which tends to be one of the things people visiting conbini late at nite tend to buy.

So, what else do people buy?? Sandwiches, onigiri and other prepared / packaged food? Why can't they load up jidohanbaiki outside the store for people to use?!

Instead, they put in place a self-service model which will most certainly result in inventory shrinkage. There is the obvious "wait for someone else to enter and then come in behind them in a hoodie and sunglasses, pilfer some stuff and be out of the store in less than 2 minutes" approach.

Or, come in and buy a few things but also discretely pilfer a few things. Which professional shoplifters will be able to do even with security cameras.

Seriously, they should either use a jidohanbaiki approach for after hours or just shut the thing down during the overnight hours. THIS is a recipe for disaster.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I bet those companys manufacturing those self checking machines and systems are behind this stupid idea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When I was single and made late night beer runs in inaka I used a beer vending machine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

About security, there was a time people in the USA wouldn’t steal because, get this, it was dishonest. You reached into a cooler of soda, took what you wanted, and deposited money in the jar.

Fortunately, that philosophy is still mostly in place in Japan, and between tech and cameras, the few strays can be caught. Still, after a while, somebody might invent a cute robot convenience store thief just for fun.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ah boohoo, they can't find enough workers! I was complaining about three Family Mart in one intersection the other day. Well, this week a new 7/11 just opened in my town one block away, less than five minutes walk from another 7/11. And 8 minutes walk in the opposite direction there's another 7/11, plus the other 3 Fam. Mart's. Plus a Lawson and a Daily Yamazaki within 10 more minutes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Working age needs to be redefined to remove high school students. Expecting 16 year olds to work in any calculation is just wrong.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yoshisan88 : They’ve got your MO now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@YuriOtani

Working age needs to be redefined to remove high school students. Expecting 16 year olds to work in any calculation is just wrong.

“Wrong”? How?

Albeit not in Japan, when I was in high school at 16 nearly all my classmates (and I) worked unless their parents were wealthy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Anonymous most high school students do not have jobs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

16years is old enough for limited part-time work. I was working PT from about 14.

I actually started my engineering apprentice from the age of 16 in a tin refinery. A hell on earth type of place.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yet they are counted on as full time workers. I was way too busy in my last years for even part time work. Between high school clubs, sports and the juku there were not enough hours in the day!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Reckless: Ah, the old inaka beer vending machine... including 3L plastic bottles of Nikka rot gut whisky, available at the machines. I made many YouTube videos of the alcohol vending machines in Onaka in the past. Now we have to go into combini to get our booze late at night. It’s just not the same...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hire the Seniors who sleep as early as 6pm then all awake at midnight. Seniors are polite, trustworthy, workaholic...they maybe a little slow but not idiot... Hire humans regardless of age, as long as can able to work, rather than hiring technology. More wiorkers, more tax payers, good for economy... Labor shortage problem, “Solve”

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I just stopped laughing whilst reading this article, it just goes to show the differences between the the west and Japan, like one person said the place would be empty in the morning, and I am very sure it would be here in the UK, you can imagine a row of white pickup vans lined up in a side street waiting for the shop to close and the manager to walk around the corner, some stolen mobile will be used to open the door, and the place would be left totally empty, I would place a bet on it that the steel shelving would be weighed in for scrap as well!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The other thing is "cigarettes, alcohol, and postage stamps will not be purchasable during the unmanned hours," I can understand cigs and booze, but why can't you buy a stamps after a certain time?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

it just goes to show the differences between the the west and Japan, like one person said the place would be empty in the morning, and I am very sure it would be here in the UK

Well said Brian Wheway, well said. This "self check out" system can only work in Japan. If you try it in Western Nations, the store will be looted and go bankrupt! Different cultures and morals. An honest culture vs dishonest.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Japan is struggling with labor shortages on the back of an aging population and declining birthrate."

Nobody should get fooled that Japan is experiencing serious labor crunch.

There is no labor shortage whatsoever, put a job for even 1400yen an hour and you will see a long line of

applicants. Establishments experiencing labor shortage are paying low. Few people are willing to work night

shift for 1100yen.

The gov't allowing Job placement companies to easily mushroom in the country is the main reason for

the super low salaries for an economy that prides itself as the 3rd largest economy in the world.

I don't know why companies don't hire part time workers directly like in the past and instead pay three

quarters of the money they pay the job placement companies directly to the worker. By so doing the worker

will work happily and won't switch jobs because the pay is good.

The job placement companies have to under pay temp staff inorder to maintain plush offices around major train stations or city centers.

Most don't even pay transport and if they do there is a cap on the amount paid which in most cases is way

insufficient.

The J-economy will continue to remain in the doldrums if the present salary structure is not improved.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

goods including cigarettes, alcohol, and postage stamps will not be purchasable during the unmanned hours

Oh well.

Can hear drunk gg's screaming Sooomemaseeen already.

Har!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The interesting thing about this is that there are storage container marts that use RFID and cameras to do self service in China and people are using them currently. There are videos about them on Youtube. I think this has more of a chance of working in Japan than it would in the USA. I think they probably already have a good idea of how much loss they have within the company from employees themselves to be able to pull this off. It would be better to include a security officer or some kind of facial tracking to alert the police of theft. They would basically turn into giant vending machines. The only failures I have seen have been the store like Amazon tried like the pay what you want. BTW the automation is coming to every country. The Second Machine Age is already upon us and the entire world is moving towards people free operation in the industries that don't actually need people to provide a service. In the US automated self driving trucks are already being used by Wal-Mart and they already use RFID and robotic tracking in warehouses and they are able to track the sames of individual items via RFID. So what that means is that people are going to have to move to jobs that require less physical interaction or hard labor to ones that require more brain power and remote operation. We have drone delivery being tested by Amazon. We can already 3D print buildings and objects. We already have automated fast food where pizza and burgers are ordered, cooked and delivered without a single person needing to be involved. So as we move towards more automation people really need to think about why type of work they are looking for and what work is going to look like in the future as eventually we won't need people to do anything. Skilled labor at the top and AI will be the only things driving industry eventually.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

eventually we won't need people to do anything. Skilled labor at the top and AI will be the only things driving industry eventually.

I tend to agree Derick Smith, well said!! With automation, AI and robots taking over most jobs, most of us in future can relax and let them do all the work for us. We will have mostly free time to do what we want in the automated age. Life will be much easier. I plan to enjoy this and retire in 2028 at 50 years old!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Brian Wheway

You're absolutely correct; can't stop laughing at those down-votes just for being truthful.

In the UK, where manhole covers are being "lifted", what do they think would happen with a similar system?!

My good mate is in distress; he returned from his weekly "pilgrimage" to the cemetery only to find his father's headstone and floral wreaths stolen!!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@tom, your right, the moral standard had not just dropped, its plummeted ! there is very little moral standards left, the UK has become a very liberal society, the police force is virtually non existent, they are powerless, underfunded, etc, then the CPS is underfunded and pushed to way beyond capacity, crime is on the up especially knife crime. and people say to me why do you go to Japan for holidays? quite easily I feel safe and I can walk around with out constantly looking around and over my shoulder waiting to be mugged. its about time the UK toughened up on crims, and put them behind bars!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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