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Vending Machines Replace Small Town Grocery Stores
Our friend Andy Sewell in England was driving through the tiny crossroads town of Clifton in Derbyshire recently when he spotted an unusual-looking vending machine on main street. He stopped to investigate and found that the machine contained basic grocery items that most people use day-to-day. After asking around, he learned that soon after the small town’s only grocery store closed, entrepreneur Peter Fox installed the giant vending machine, which is constructed like a small building. Fox spen7 2 1/2 years perfecting the innovative machine, which takes cash or credit cards to issue milk, eggs, toiletries, kitchen essentials, pet food and even umbrellas. The machine is wired to send out emails when its shelves need restocking.
  Fox says that just like in many rural areas of North America, thousands of small towns in England have lost their local stores so residents have to drive long distances even for the most basic items.His biggest challenge in building the machine was designing mechanisms to handle milk, eggs, and fresh produce.
  The mini store is fitted with security cameras and alarms. Customers can check online to make sure what they need is in stock before making the drive into town.
  Andy tells us the quality of the automated grocery shop was impressive and that the prices were less than what you’d pay at most gas station stores (www.villagevending.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #5