East Japan Railway Company to open first unmanned, cashless convenience store

East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) will open an unmanned, cashless convenience store at Musashisakai Station on the Chuo Line.

The new store will be the first of its kind among the company’s group convenience store chain NewDays. After selecting purchase items, shoppers scan each product’s barcode at self-checkout counters and pay by Suica, other prepaid transportation cards, or credit cards.

Cash is not accepted, and cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, which require age verification, will not be available. Staff at other stores in the same station will restock the outlet. Security cameras are installed to prevent shoplifting, and employees of another store will respond if suspicious customers are spotted.

JR East plans to increase the number of unmanned stores, mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Major convenience store operators are considering introduction of unmanned stores to cope with labour shortages.