Emart goes digital in high-tech Uiwang store

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Emart goes digital in high-tech Uiwang store


Tro.e will guide customers through Emart’s Uiwang branch in Gyeonggi. [EMART]

Emart is going fully digital with its brand new Uiwang branch that will open in Gyeonggi tomorrow.

Innovative features of the Uiwang branch - the first Emart store to open in 30 months - include digital displays instead of paper signs and guide robots that can escort customers to desired products. The Uiwang store will span 9,917 square meters (106,745 square feet) across two basement floors in a commercial building.

“We will introduce a revolutionary format of offline stores that breaks away from tradition in order to meet the challenges of our fast-changing era,” read an Emart report.

Going paper-free is a big change that Emart hopes will both appeal to customers and help management.

Price labels will be digitalized and controlled by a central server in the Uiwang branch, allowing store managers to display and change prices with unprecedented ease and speed. The new store will also install digital signage, or electronic displays, alongside elevators, moving walkways and cashiers instead of paper posters for advertisement and notices.

“By minimizing paper usage, we can provide consumers with a unique shopping experience while practicing green management and boosting productivity,“ read the Emart report.

The new Uiwang store will also be home to Tro.e, an autonomous robot equipped with a 27-inch touch screen that is capable of guiding consumers to desired products and making casual conversation. Like Pepper, a robot the company employed earlier this year at its Seongsu branch in eastern Seoul, Tro.e will only be available for a limited time on a test run at Uiwang.

Emart developed Tro.e, named after the Swedish word tro, which means trust, together with Future Robot, one of the official robot providers for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The grocery section of the new store will only be located on the lower floor of the store, while the upper floor will host a variety of affiliated shops including Electro Mart, Pierrot Shopping, Daiz, Boots and a Kakao Friends Store.

Emart will open a 660-square-meter “Culture Lounge” for customers to read books and purchase beverages.

“We will continue striving to offer consumers a unique shopping experience with our distinctive products and digital shopping environment,” said a senior manager in charge of development at Emart.

BY KIM EUN-JIN [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]
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