Gennevilliers: France's first automated,connected corner shop

HAROPA - Paris Ports' search for innovative services has led to Boxy, a completely new concept for containers fitted out as automated, connected corner shops. The concept, which was installed at Gennevilliers port in July, is a first for France.

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David Gabai and Tom Hayat founded Storelift in 2018 in Ivry-sur-Seine. Their intention: to provide quick, uncomplicated access to basic necessities 24/7 in districts where traditional shops are thin on the ground (city outskirts, industrial and office areas). This led to Boxy, a concept for an automated, connected corner shop housed in a specially equipped 15 sq. m. container.

Three hundred food, hygiene and household product references but no staff, and no tills. Artificial Intelligence, connected weighing scales and sensors identify customers, track their purchases and bill them almost before
they are out the door.

Automating for profit-making

And that is what won over HAROPA - Paris Ports: “Boxy offers a genuine local service non-existent until now. We are proud to Tom Hayat et David Gabai, cofondateurs de Storelift / Storelift's co-founders, Tom Hayat and David Gabai welcome this absolutely innovative concept to our port areas. Given that containers are part of our DNA anyway, it seemed an even more natural solution to us”, is the enthusiastic reaction of Jean Plateau, deputy general manager of Gennevilliers port.

“We think automation is the key” explains David Gabai, co-founder of Storelift. “The core issue is how to bring an affordable local retail offer into poorly served city districts. Profitability is challenging for the traditional chains, but the demand is there. We estimate that there are several thousand potential users at Gennevilliers port, people who are in many cases working unsocial hours with an immediate need for basic necessities.”

And Storelift does not intend to stop there: “We are planning for five or six new locations before the end of the year at Orly, Roissy, Poissy and Saclay. Our ambitions are currently domestic, but we are also looking at international markets”, concludes Tom Hayat, co-founder of Storelift