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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- When the spring semester commences students will notice a new addition to the State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland campus -- Shop24, an automated convenience store.
The university reported that the new "store" will dispense items ranging from one ounce to eight pounds and will carry about 175 items, including a wide variety of foods and beverages as well as non-food items that students use on a daily basis.
In the heart of the campus, Shop24 stands at nine feet high, 13.5 feet wide and 10 feet deep and occupies 136 square feet. Shop24, a world leader in the automated c-store market worked with SUNY's Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) to bring the futuristic concept to the campus. All Shop24 stores are self-contained, unmanned retail stores, designed to capitalize on the gap between staffed c-stores and traditional vending machines, the university stated.
“We are the leader in the automated store market,” Ken Horner, CEO of Shop24 Global said in a released statement. “We have the first-mover advantage with more than 230 stores delivered to date, predominantly located throughout Europe and now with a strong presence in the U.S. market at our locations in Ohio, New York and California.”
“By partnering with Shop24, we are able to leverage technology to offer our students all of the advantages of a traditional convenience store without the high labor costs typically associated with those operations,” added Pierre Gagnon, executive director of ASC, a non-for-profit organization that provides dining services, vending, bookstore, student ID cards and other essential services to the campus community.
Shop24 was completed over the winter break, so students could begin using it when classes were back in session. Patrons can access Shop24 by using cash, credit cards and Connections cards. Items are selected using a computer screen which then prompts the Shop24 robot to select the items and place them into a shopping basket; up to eight items can be purchased in a single transaction, the release noted.