The city's first robotic convenience store, which bills itself as "the wave of the future," is opening in South Philadelphia tomorrow. The Shop 24 "ultra convenience store," which resembles a nine-foot-tall vending machine, currently operates on college campuses in California and New York and in apartment complexes in Texas and Utah.
Shop 24 will debut with a 4 p.m. grand opening at the Enclaves at Gateway Towers apartment complex, not far from the Philadelphia Navy Yard. "The response has been incredible," CEO Michael Weigel said in a statement. "Making the most commonly-used convenience store items available around the clock and right on the apartment property is a great amenity."
The Shop 24 at the Enclaves will feature "anything you can get at Wawa or CVS," said leasing representative Kaitlin Benner. That includes drinks, snacks, laundry detergent, common over-the-counter medications like Tylenol and toiletries like toothpaste, toilet paper and diapers.
Shop 24 stores offer up to 200 different items and accept cash, credit, debit and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards. Items are selected by a keypad and dispensed in a robotic basket.