Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Remote Cashier

Convenience store cashier safe from armed robbers.
  [vote for,

What if convenience stores had a remote cashier, completely safe from gun-wielding robbers? They could be miles away, or actually be somewhere on the premises hidden in a back room. Can't a person make change, talk to customers, via video and some money receiver/dispenser?

To replenish stocks, close the place, lock front door while doing it. Knowing there are surveilance cameras should be enough to prevent people from trying to walk in and steal Twinkies. Or you could threaten to remotely lock the front door, trapping them. That might be illegal, though, but might at least bluff them, and certainly could call security or police. (I previously posted as annotation)
flypaper, Nov 26 2003

BANDIT BARRIER http://www.bulletre...riers.com/bull2.htm
Pretty well baked in high-crime areas of larger U.S. cities. [Klaatu, Oct 17 2004]

Zero staff convenience stores http://www.sonic.ne...y/japan/vending.htm
[Cedar Park, Oct 17 2004]

Metro Future Store http://www.future-s.../1070036734038.html
you are the cashier. [skinflaps, Oct 17 2004]

mcdonalds store http://www.kidsnews...p?page=AroundWorld3
[lizziepunkin, Oct 17 2004]


       Thank you for the link,[MrBurns]. Are they used in any convenience stores yet? I continue to see many reports of robberies.
flypaper, Nov 26 2003

       One of my neighborhood grocery stores has those do-it-yourself checkout units. It took them three months to get all of the bugs out of the user interface. Bulk stuff and fresh vegetables gave them the most problems because people didn't know how to spell things like "Pepper" and therefor couldn't find the picture in the menu. Now it works pretty well. One employee can supervise four lanes by camera, just to keep customers honest.   

       It is a feasible idea, but closing the store for replenishing the shelves is going a little overboard. How about loading shelves through a separate door at the back as they sometimes do for dairy products? That way you only have to shut down small sections. In small stores an empty shelf could sink into the basement with the top of the shelf closing the hole. After refilling it rises again.
kbecker, Nov 26 2003

       You can get just about anything from vending machines in Japan. [link]
Cedar Park, Nov 27 2003

       Im just saying but Id rather have the blood of a few seven-eleven cashiers on my hands rather than get screwed over by a vending machine ten times more often than i do today.   

       Anyhow conveniance store clerk is the number one job for someone who'd quite like to kill someone one day and not go too prison. They all keep a loaded pistol under the desk.
harshbastard, Nov 27 2003

       This would be especially helpful at a shop selling guns and ammunition. I guess that's what [harshbastard] would call a convenience store!
dobtabulous, Nov 27 2003

       guns are cool - if you point them and pull the trigger they make bad people go away.
harshbastard, Nov 27 2003

       ... forever.
Cedar Park, Nov 28 2003

       <takes aim...fires...direct hit!> I will await your next annotation [harshbastard] to test your proposition!
dobtabulous, Nov 28 2003

       Metro Future store.   

skinflaps, Nov 28 2003

       I've got a loophole for the door locking. The robber need only leave his/her shoe at the door to wedge it open as they enter. Them Twinkies are mine!
jivetalkinrobot, Nov 28 2003

       What I'm suggesting is that a video conferencing type approach has advantages over the bulletproof polycarbonate walls. Cashier still talks to customers, and can see what is going on, so they don't try to not pay for things. May be cheaper than the bulletproofing. No worry that bigger guns or repeated shots may get through the wall if you are not even visible in person. Side advantage is that cashier can work from home; doesn't even have to go to dangerous neighborhood at night.

Vending machine approach works, but would seem very expensive to handle thousands of items that I see at convenience stores.
flypaper, Nov 29 2003

       I'm sorry Dave, but that will be US$87.43 for that candy bar.
thumbwax, Nov 30 2003

       Then they would be called inconvenience stores.
python, Nov 30 2003

       [blissmiss] That's true, but same could happen with the bulletproof wall method.
flypaper, Nov 30 2003

       I want to see you fit enough cases of beer in a vending machine to please the general public. Also, I want to be able to enjoy one when I get home so the drop from most vending machines is unacceptable. It would be hilarious to watch someone remove a case of beer from a vending machine though. What ever happened to cigarette machines?
notOriginal, Dec 03 2003

       McDonalds this year tried to test market an automated convienence machine. It had everything youw ould typically sell in a convienence store, ATM, toilet paper, sunglasses, candy, other stuff. It was a huge flop and they pulled it.
lizziepunkin, Dec 03 2003


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