The ‘super’ of the future has finally landed in Spain. Three young Spanish engineers (the brothers Juan Miguel and Víctor Manuel de Haro and Lino Monteagudo), have created Ghop, a small establishment without ATMs or queues which is based on the automatic recognition of products at the checkout counter.
It has just opened its doors on Moraleja Green shopping center (Alcobendas) in Madrid. It has done it experimentally, since it will only be there until the end of this month, as one of its founders, Víctor de Haro, tells Invertia. They have done it to test the feedback of the people and, for the moment, they recognize that “it is being a success”.
So much so that in September is when the format that by the end of the year it will reach eight establishments. “It is a convenience store and impulse purchase. The intention is to grow through places where this type of offer does not currently exist, such as stations. automatic service, university campuses or airports“, he says.
How is the establishment? These are small shops of 15 m2, located at street level and open 24 hours. These offer a face-to-face and immediate sale, without queues, at any time and anywhere.
But one of its main advantages is that has a transportable modular structure. “If it doesn’t work in one place, you can take it to another,” explains Victor.
As for the assortment, it depends on the location. “There is a more or less stable assortment, which is an assortment of impulse or convenience, and another that changes depending on the location,” he adds. For example, in a business park, dishes will predominate take away or prepared. Total, each store will have 200 references.
They started with an investment of between 10,000 and 15,000 euros to which was added the financing of contests that they have been winning. Oddly enough, they did not look at Amazon Go to start their project, since after finishing university they thought about creating a smart cart, then a basket and finally a store, because “we saw the opportunity from our own experience”.
“We were going to go to a Chinese at 22:00 at night and we saw that they were not professionalized. Then we did a market study and we observed that convenience purchases were booming with these formats in Asia and the US. And we launched ourselves to do it in Spain “, he remembers.
Thus, in September they intend to open a round in order to complete the financing and reach the first eight stores. And from there the idea is to grow to reach 2022 with 50 supermarkets and in 2023 add 180 in Spain and Portugal. Expansion in Latin America will come later.
In fact, do not rule out locating in smaller towns and rural settings. “Some council has contacted us to install these businesses in towns that are suffering depopulation due to the lack of services. It is a way to investigate. Even in neighborhood urbanizations,” he says. Here the franchise way could fit, but the founders of Ghop want to grow hand in hand with companies.
And although they focus on an audience between 18 and 35 years old, at the moment they do not include the function of making payments with facial recognition. In a future for sure yes. In the end we are talking about a totally new model that arrives in Spain to revolutionize shopping.
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