A new breed of vending machine is proliferating around the world.
Changing consumer preferences about shopping and the high cost of operating brick-and-mortar stores are inspiring premium brands to rethink how they sell their wares. As ZoomSystems, a US-based provider of high-end automated retail machines, puts it: "A ZoomShop costs less than an employee."
The machines – which bridge the gap between old-fashioned stores and online shopping – are not only being installed in airports and malls. They are materialising in supermarkets, military bases, college campuses, and even chain stores.