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Modern Breed Of Vending Machine Inhabits Space Between Retail And Web

May 25, 2010: 03:48 AM EST
Modern vending machines are high-tech, interactive and being used to sell new and surprising products, including gold, strawberries and underwear. Tech savvy consumers are comfortable with touch-screen interfaces and a high-degree of self-service. Vendors can tap less economic niches and locations – vending machines can cost less than an employee, are open 24/7 and can have high sales per square foot: while a mall might generate about $330 a square foot/year, vending machines can generate $3,000-$10,000. Studies suggest the traditional vending machine business for soda and cigarettes is in decline, but modern machines are bridging a gap between online shopping and bricks-and-mortar retail.
Stephanie Rosenbloom, "The New Touch-Face of Vending Machines", New York Times, May 25, 2010, © The New York Times Company
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