dori toronto

Toronto is getting Canada's first self-serve department store with no employees

Automated stores are landing in Toronto, and soon the city could become home to some of the first fully automated mini kiosk "department stores."

Mississauga-based Dori has yet to launch, but it's supposed to be rethinking the concept of a newsstand with smart kiosks positioned in busy pedestrian locations, such as Union Station.

The idea is to combine all the best part of an e-commerce and in-person store. "It's as easy as using Shopify," for brands, the website boasts.

Digitally native brands should be able to access an unattended physical point of sale in a kind of "interactive vending alley" (which is supposed to be the first of its kind in North America) that allows them to sample and sell their products instantly.

Treats, gifts, snacks, drinks, books and fresh foods are examples of some of the kinds of products brands could sell through the Dori concept.

Dori is one of a number of new retail concepts surfacing in Toronto these days. Aisle 24 recently opened the city's first self-serve 24-hour convenience store with no employees on site.

Coming soon to King West is another new concept called GoodGood. It's not an automated store but one the company is calling "a better kind of convenience" and "the future of local commerce." 

Construction of the store is currently in progress with an opening date expected before the end of the year.

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