dori toronto

Toronto just got its first self-serve department store with no employees

A major Toronto mall is now home to Toronto's first fully automated store for gifts and specialty items.

Dori just opened at the Toronto Eaton Centre on Monday, Nov. 22. The employee-less store carries all kinds of products, including candles, fresh macarons and "cheesecake sticks," "candy sushi," cocktail kits, soaps and teas.

Before you get in a huff about customer service and small businesses, just know that many of the products are actually local Canadian brands: the Dori system is an effort to expand the reach of their brands, like an IRL extension of e-commerce.

Brands include Sweet Sushi, Carole's Cheesecake, The Macaron Boutique and Alicja Confections.

"We've partnered with both direct-to-consumer brands who don't have a physical store as well as local brands who would not typically have an opportunity to open a store at somewhere like the Eaton Centre," says Noam Hazan, CEO of Dori.

Pricing ranges from about $2.99 to $47.50. The automated, vending-machine-inspired shop is located by the Queen St. entrance of the Eaton Centre by Shoppers on the lower concourse.

Hazan tells blogTO that so far the "response has been awesome" and that products are "selling well," noting that "the macarons are out of this world."

He also clarifies that when it comes to being totally cashier-less, "We do have employees, a big team behind the scenes, and will have brand reps on weekends." 

If you want to get a better idea of what's being sold before actually heading down to the vending machines to pick up something, you can always check out all the products online beforehand.

Dori is having their official launch event on Dec. 5, and at 1 p.m. they'll be giving out free gift cards to the first 50 visitors and free cheesecake sticks.

Dori has plans to expand across Canada and into the United States within the next two years.

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