Engineer Peter Fox has designed the UK’s first “giant vending machine”- style automated shops, selling groceries including eggs, milk and pet food
An engineer has designed the UK’s first automated shop, allowing villagers who have lost their local store to stock up on provisions again.
Electrical engineer Peter Fox spent two-and-a-half years honing the shop – which he describes as a ‘giant vending machine’ – before it was installed this week outside a pub in Clifton, near Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
Residents can use cash or credit cards to buy milk, eggs, toiletries, kitchen essentials, pet food and even umbrellas and the machine will send out an email when its stock levels are getting low.
Mr Fox says the stores, which will be introduced to other villages in the area in the coming months, would herald a return to convenience shopping for people in rural communities who have lost their local shop.
The 50-year-old father-of-two added: “I had this idea a few years ago but I couldn’t find a manufacturer who could deliver what I wanted, so I rolled up my sleeves and did it myself.
“The result is what essentially amounts to a huge outdoor vending machine – but the term ‘automatic shop’ is actually far more appropriate.
“The problem with vending machines is that they can’t handle the range, weight, or delicacy of a wide range of products such as milk, eggs, bread, washing powder and so on. Our shop can handle all of these and many more besides.”
The shop is fitted with an array of security features including cameras and alarms.
The Latest on: Automated shops
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