This 24-Hour "Smart" Convenience Store Has No Cashiers

After a crazy, late-night run for baby food, Robert Ilijason, a 39-year-old IT specialist, had the bright idea of creating a “smart” convenience store that would be open 24 hours a day, but have no cashiers on duty. In September, he opened Näraffär, an around-the-clock shop in Viken, Sweden, where customers simply swipe their smartphones to unlock the front door. The store's app gives them access to the building and allows them to scan items for purchase after they register with a credit card.

Näraffär sells a lot of the products that you’d expect to find, such as milk, bread, sugar, canned food, snacks, and diapers. However, it doesn’t sell tobacco or medicine because of the risk of shoplifters. And since it's against the law to sell alcohol in convenience stores in Sweden, that, too, is one less thing Ilijason has to worry about.

To discourage shoplifters, Ilijason installed six security cameras throughout the store and is alerted directly via text message if someone tries to break in or if the front door stays open for an extended period of time. (He lives nearby, so he can easily pop in.)

In addition to its all-hours schedule, Näraffär customers are enjoying the speed that comes with not having to wait in line. Now that’s convenient.

[h/t Mashable]

Here's the Right Way to Pronounce Kitchenware Brand Le Creuset

If you were never quite sure how to pronounce the name of beloved French kitchenware brand Le Creuset, don't fret: For the longest time, southern chef, author, and PBS personality Vivian Howard wasn't sure either.

In this video from Le Creuset, shared by Food & Wine, Howard prepares to sear some meat in her bright orange Le Creuset pot and explains, "For the longest time I had such a crush on them but I could never verbalize it because I didn’t know how to say it and I was so afraid of sounding like a big old redneck." Listen closely as she demonstrates the official, Le Creuset-endorsed pronunciation at 0:51.

Le Creuset is known for its colorful, cast-iron cookware, which is revered by pro chefs and home cooks everywhere. The company first introduced their durable pots to the world in 1925. Especially popular are their Dutch ovens, which are thick cast-iron pots that have been around since the 18th century and are used for slow-cooking dishes like roasts, stews, and casseroles.

[h/t Food & Wine]

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Amazon Will Now Deliver Whole Foods Groceries To Your Door

Since its acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon has slowly been ramping up synergy between the two brands. An Amazon Go concept convenience store in Seattle allows customers to enter, scan their cell phone, and walk out with groceries without having to stand in line; select Amazon products, like their Echo devices, have made their way onto retail shelves.

Now, consumers in Austin, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach can use their status as an Amazon Prime customer to get free home delivery of their Whole Foods groceries. Beginning Thursday, February 8, the market will drop off orders within two hours. (One-hour delivery carries a $7.99 charge.)

“We're happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites,” Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey said in a statement. “Together, we have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers’ lives even easier.”

Most everything in the store is eligible for delivery, though we’re not certain they’d deliver a live lobster. “Select” alcohol is also available. You can visit to see if you’re in their delivery region. Keep checking, as they plan to expand throughout 2018.

If you’re not near a Whole Foods at all, other regional grocery chains like Wegman’s also offer home delivery on a subscription-based pricing structure.

[h/t The Verge]


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