400,000 people visit Honestbee’s high-tech cashless store in Q1

Singapore-based online grocery start-up Honestbee has seen more than 400,000 people visit its first ever physical store, complete with a range of leading retail technologies.

The new store dubbed Habitat, which opened in Singapore three months ago, has proven a success for the company, known for its grocery app.

Since its launch late last year, the store has enjoyed hundreds of thousands of customers, 85 per cent of which made a purchase.

Habitat is entirely cashless and utilises a number of leading retail technologies in an effort to compete with Asian retail tech giants like Alibaba.

Customers enter the store by scanning an app on their phone, which then links to their individual accounts.

One they have finished shopping, the customer pushes their carts through a gate where their goods will be scanned and packed for them.

While this is taking place customers can go and enjoy a coffee or snack at one of Habitat’s restaurants, before receiving an automated notification that their order is ready.

A robot will then collect a small locker with their packed items in a bag and bring it to them.

“We use phones to track, we use tech to make shopping easier, we use as much data as possible to make (our) inventory smarter,” Honestbee co-founder Joel Sng said.

“To be honest, any store should be doing that.”

Honestbee currently trades from eight countries across Asia, with its core business centering around an app which, which partners with local grocery chains and sees 20,000 part-time employees fulfil orders for customers.

It is understood to be planning a second physical store outside of Singapore by the end of the year.

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