Photo: PR Times
tech

New hires at Lawson convenience stores to work remotely via avatars

10 Comments
By grape Japan

AVITA Corporation, a Japanese company providing business solutions based on avatars, and Lawson Inc, which operates Lawson convenience stores throughout Japan, have entered into a collaboration.

Their goal is to provide potential employees with a new way of working not limited by factors such as "time" and "place of employment" or visually recognizable factors such as "age, gender, or disabilities." At the same time, Lawson hopes to provide consumers with a new form of contact-free customer service at their brick-and-mortar stores. Finally, by enabling remote work via avatars, Lawson seeks to alleviate their labor shortage and make night shift work more palatable.

Other advantages of avatar technology include enabling one person to work at multiple stores, implementing remote late-night crime prevention, providing online consultation with specialists, and remote and mobile sales of local specialty products.

Since both Lawson and AVITA share the same ideal of "expanding the possibilities of people" through service and technology, they came to an agreement in April, and began to test the viability of their collaboration on the use of avatar technology.

LawsonAvita_2.jpg

As the first step of their collaboration, AVITA's avatar customer service service AVACOM will be introduced in the futuristic "Green Lawson" store scheduled to open in Tokyo at the end of November. AVACOM will be used to assist customers with any problems they may have, explain new products, and provide entertainment through collaboration with VTubers, all with the aim of realizing new forms of communication.

To this aim, Lawson has begun recruiting "avatar workers" for the Green Lawson store on its official website. 10 to 30 people are expected to be hired, and successful applicants will start working at Green Lawson at the end of November after going through training.

After conducting a trial run at Green Lawson, Lawson will train 50 "Lawson Avatar Operators," avatar workers certified by Lawson, to work at 10 Lawson stores in Tokyo and Osaka by the end of fiscal 2023. Furthermore, Lawson aims to train 1,000 Lawson Avatar Operators to work at Lawson stores nationwide by the end of fiscal 2025.

Green Lawson's avatars: Aoi and Sorato

Screen-Shot-2022-09-23-at-9.46.53.png

About the Lawson Avatar Operator application process

Application period: Until October 7, 6 p.m. (JST)

Application Method: Fill in the application (Japanese only) here.

Selection Schedule

September 22: Recruitment and first round of examinations began.

Early October: Document screening for those who pass the first examination (second examination)

Mid-October: Practical skill and interview examination (final examination) for those who pass the second examination

Late October: Announcement of successful applicants (final exam candidates will be notified individually)

Early November: Attend the Lawson Avatar Operator Training Program (about 1 week)

Mid-November: Certification as a Lawson Avatar Operator

Late November - Mid-December: Start of work as a Lawson Avatar Operator at Green Lawson

Work description

You will be responsible for customer service and sales promotion by remotely controlling avatars installed in Lawson stores from your work location* via PC.

Salary: 1,100 - 2,000 yen per hour (salary increase based on skills as an avatar operator)

  • Initially, your place of work will be in Tokyo at Lawson headquarters or a location separately designated by Lawson or in Osaka, at the International Communication Center for Persons with Disabilities or a location separately designated by Lawson. Commuting expenses will be paid.

Lawson is considering the possibility of allowing remote work from a private home or shared office if conditions such as suitable operating equipment, communication environment, security and other conditions are met.

Qualifications

At least 18 years old

Able to commute to the places of work indicated above

Already registered with a LAWSON ID or able to register for a new one

Agreeing with the Lawson Group Philosophy: "We make people happy in the communities where we live together."

Reading and agreeing with all of the application guidelines written at the application link above.

For inquiries, contact the Lawson Avatar Operator Public Recruitment Office at 0120-27-3963 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (JST).

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© grape Japan

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

10 Comments
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So basically these will be unmanned stores with surveillance cameras and cartoon characters to help you out if you need them too. Is this right since the article doesn't explain this at all?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

How do I pay cash to a collection of pixels. How can they stamp my bills and arrange my takyubin order. Sounds like a half baked idea.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Taking the convenience out of convenience stores… #winning

One person replacing up to ten people for the same single person wage (that is poverty level)… #winning

A job that is perfect for working from home but you end up taking last train TO the work place as you have to work at their office... #winning

… there is a reason Japan’s economy and wage growth has been flat for 30 years…

Average worker… #losing

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This isn’t an article. It’s a job ad. Remote work but you still need to basically do a night shift in a call center? I’d rather work in the physical store. Moronic idea. If they want to retain staff at their stores, pay them more!!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Invented to fail. lol

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Beaming your avatar into a store virtually doesn't meet Lawson's group philosophy of, "We make people happy in the communities where we live together."

They need to revise that. I suggest:

"We beam into a store via avatar. You shall have no real service and be happy."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

visually recognizable factors such as age, gender, or disabilities

So Lawson is going to hide these qualities behind more "acceptable" young generic characters?

That's disgusting.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This all makes me think of the useless and bizarre things that came out during the venture capitalist-driven insanity of the late-1990s. Convince a VC and get billions in funding for a CueCat! Except this concept is even worse, because the human element is reduced to a couple of generic anime avatars.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Since both Lawson and AVITA share the same ideal of "expanding the possibilities of people" through ...

replacing them with cartoon characters.... whoops, I mean: avatars....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This isn’t cute, stylish or convenient, it’s dehumanizing, in every sense.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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