The ‘Employee Free’ Supermarket

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Migros, the largest supermarket chain in Switzerland, has launched its first unsupervised branch in Grenchen, canton Solothurn.

The shop is known as the Voi Cube and is open 24/7 and stocks approximately 500 everyday items (excluding cigarettes and alcohol).

It’s only a trial at the moment but the press release did say that it could be expanded in remote areas or be open late at night in urban centres. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t distract from supporting shopkeepers in a time of need.

Swiss retail is bound by, some would say, archaic, federal labour laws that forbid staff from working on a Sunday.

A Migros spokesperson said “The store will be open around the clock, including on public holidays” but stressed that “The Voi Cube is not a replacement for a branch, it is merely an addition”.

Customers use an app to register before purchasing, before choosing their products and checking out independently using hand sensors.

Once payment has been made, people can leave the store through an automatic door.

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