Tiny Robotic Kroger Invades College Campus

Ah, progress. Thanks to advances in vending-machine technology, tiny robotic convenience stores have opened up shop in apartment complexes and on college campuses nationwide. Sure, consumers in Europe and Japan had similar stuff a decade or more ago. But they don’t have the world’s tiniest Kroger, which is about the size of a bus shelter and opened last month on the campus of private Ohio Northern University.

Other campuses across the country have robotic convenience stores as well, but without grocery store branding. The refrigerated machines come from Ohio company Shop24, and can vend items up to eight pounds. They accept cash, cards, and in some places take food-stamp cards. In the case of the Robo-Kroger, since store discount cards aren’t an option, the items will automatically have the discount prices card holders would get. Prices are the same as at the Kroger 15 miles from campus that stocks the machine.

Kroger debuts kiosk concept at area college campus [Toledo Blade] (Thanks, DFP!)
Kroger Installs Shop24 Robotic Store At Ohio Northern University [Vending Market Watch]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.