Foodies Selecta

The company behind the first self-service micro-market housed in a transport hub has revealed it is open to working with symbol groups and independent retailers.

Eric Bridges, project manager of Foodies at Selecta, told betteRetailing the concept, opened in East Croydon, “has the potential to work in other scenarios if the business case is right”.

The 18m² space comprises two unmanned coffee machines and three fridges catering for breakfast, lunch, snacks and the evening meal market. It is open 24 hours and all transactions are contactless.

“We are operating in offices, but Covid-19 accelerated the entry to the public sphere,” said Bridges, adding that the hybrid retail space became “a perfect storm” after the station café chain Pumpkin Café collapsed last year.

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The items are calibrated by weight and all transaction information is fed to a central system. The machines are then replenished once a day from a warehouse in Hemel Hempstead with a 700-item product range.

This includes croissants, yoghurts, drinks, salad bowls and sandwiches.

Selecta is looking at rolling the concept out to more stations, but said a standalone high-street offering is not a priority given the mini-market is too small to fill current retail space.

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