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To bring groceries to rural villages lacking supermarkets, German retail giant REWE is launching a new concept: nahkauf BOX. Operating under REWE's nahkauf brand of neighborhood stores, nahkauf BOX is an unmanned, standalone convenience store that's open 24/7.
Customers gain access to the shop by tapping their debit or credit card, and five people at a time are allowed inside. nahkauf BOX doesn't sell alcoholic beverages, but a wide range of other food and non-food items are on offer. When they're done shopping, customers scan their purchases at a self-checkout and pay by card.
The concept's first shop — Josef's nahkauf BOX — just opened and is managed by Josef Sier and Thomas Scheuring, who also run regular-sized nahkauf stores in neighboring towns. Their BOX satellite is located in Pettstadt, a rural municipality that counts 2,000 residents and 0 supermarkets.
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