In August 2016, the first BingoBox was equipped in Guangzhou. After one year, Chen Zilin, founder of the BingoBox held a event to “celebrate its birthday”. Chen took this opportunity to invite investors, partners and franchisees to Beijng, showed the fruits they made in last year and their future plans.
New version launched 158 stores
According to the latest data, BingoBox has launched 158 stores in 22 cities across China. In addition to the first-tier cities, their products were also introduced into the western cities like Ordos.
Chen Zilin said that thousands of places were waiting for the product, but the landing process was restricted by the production capacity.
But now the problem has been resolved–in the past half year, the company were devoted to develop a new IKEA-type box. The new box has many benefits–can be deployed in most places, greatly reduce the costs of transportation and construction, and lay the foundation for future hardware upgrading.
At present, ,massive production of the new box begin, and there are three producers in Eastern and Southern China. It is estimated that by the end of this year, production capacity can reach 3,500 per month, which also means a rapid deployment of the box in the coming months.
The unmanned retail enters into new AI era
In addition to hardware upgrading, BingoBox also introduced an AI solution named “FAN AI”. According to the BingoBox, the new solution integrates image recognition, artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques.
From the perspective of user experience, the biggest change in the FAN AI is replacing the RFID tag with image recognition technology. It can not only save the labor and tag costs, but also has a extremely low upgrading expending.
Shelves, which were commonly ignored, are designed to be the data collection center. The newly released “dynamic shelf” can capture all the information through cameras, and provide the most front-end information to the back office for its judgment. At the same time, special display devices on the dynamic shelves can help to adjust commodity price and personal promotion information at any time according to the need.
Based on the analysis of user data, the system can provide different purchasing and sale strategies through the supply chain information and sales data. Meanwhile, the advanced anti-theft recovery system safeguards the normal operation of each box.
According to the official data, a teamwork of four people can manage 40 BingoBox under the ideal circumstance. They hope that Fan AI can facilitate the management and operation after the massive launching, thereby further expanding market.
The initial franchise fee is important part of the profit
Although all the upgrading is to achieve “efficient retail”, but in essence, most profit comes from the initial franchise fee. Currently, BingoBox has established a relatively perfect recruitment team in targeted areas. They also provide various cooperation modes including investment partners, franchised agents and regional agents.
Insiders also said that policies for individual franchisees would be introduced soon.
According to previous report from the Beijing Commercial Daily, individual franchisees need to pay 100,000 yuan to buy a box and 3,000 yuan as installation costs. In addition, goods in Beijing are mainly supplied by the company themselves, so the franchisees in Beijing have to pay 30,000 yuan for the deposit.
What’s more, individual franchisees need to contact the residential property because the rent and property fees of different places are various. Besides these expenditures, individual franchisees need to pay 500 yuan per month as management fee. The company will be fully responsible for the operation of these boxes. 10% of the sales belong to the individual franchisees, the rest to the company.
Industry insider has concluded that for the unmanned CVS (convenience store), the core is the “location”. The BingoBox or other unmanned CVS all have a high requirement on the location, then capital and technical maintenance. However, good location needs higher rent and resources. Therefore, the most suitable type of unmanned CVS is franchises, not chain store.
This article originally appeared in ifanr and was translated by Pandaily.
Click here to read the original Chinese article.