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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World Economy -> 
Singapore retailers turn to vending machines
    2018-03-19  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

WITH sales stagnating and high rent and manpower costs eating away at his profits, Azan Tengku, the director of Singaporean gift company Kalms, decided to close down his stores and move all his products into vending machines.

Kalms, which has rolled out 50 machines island-wide that sell mostly teddy bears and jewelry, is one of a growing number of companies in the city-state adopting vending machines in a move encouraged by a government push for automation and tighter restrictions on low-skilled foreign workers.

The city-state is seeing some of the fastest growth rates in vending machines sales worldwide, even as there are signs of saturation in major markets like Japan, which at 5.5 million has the world’s highest number of vending machines per capita.

“Rent is high in Singapore and good retail employees are hard to find,” said Tengku.

“Singapore and Japan face the same challenges when it comes to employment and how both countries are densely populated and have space limitations.”

Since the launch of its first vending machine in late 2016, Kalms said it has recorded month-on-month growth of 15 percent for 16 consecutive months.

The firm is now partnering with other companies to sell food, clothing and electronic products on its machines, which it says will allow it to roll out hundreds more across the country in the coming year.

Businesses that manufacture vending machines in Singapore, like Le Tach, are also profiting from the trend.

Le Tach’s co-founder Steve Chia said the company has grown from manufacturing 50 vending machines in 2011 to over 1,000 to date, adding that the types of vending machines have also expanded from dispensing drinks and snacks to selling daily essentials and accessories.

Singapore recorded US$67.2 million in vending machine sales in 2017, data from research firm Euromonitor International showed, a 3-percent increase from the previous year, and sales are expected to exceed US$72 million by 2020.

While the country of around 5.6 million people only just sneaks into the top 30 countries in terms of vending machine sales, it is one of the fastest growing markets behind Russia (12.3 percent), China (11.5 percent), Thailand (8.5 percent) and the United Arab Emirates (3.3 percent).(SD-Agencies)

 

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