Jun 1, 2017
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Cashless Trends

Vending Machines – Not Just for Candy Anymore

It is so exciting to watch how the unattended retail market (and vending in general) has transformed in the past year,  and is now reaching new levels of cool. Everything from luxury cars, to makeup, headphones and Snapchat Spectacles and now band merchandise can be found with increasing regularity in vending machines. It goes to show that the choice of unattended retail is one available to almost any kind of business these days, and appeals to on-the-go consumers in the most unexpected of places.

French pop band, Phoenix, has been making headlines recently for its decision to bring a vending machine, aptly named, Super Mercato, on the latest world tour to showcase and sell merchandise and promote their upcoming album, Ti Amo. The pop-up Super Mercato shop makes it easy for fans to pick up merchandise using credit cards or mobile wallet payments like Apple or Android Pay, a perfect solution for their (primarily post Millennial) fan base. Using a vending machine makes it super easy for fans to quickly purchase with no long lines and no going through piles of shirts looking for the right size – just select, swipe, dispense and go.  

TONIGHT IN MIAMI AND WITH US ON TOUR: THE PHOENIX VENDING MACHINE. #supermercatophoenix

A post shared by Phoenix (@wearephoenix) on

Another innovator in this interesting niche market is Merch Roadie, a company founded by two women, Natalie and Sarina. Throughout both of their careers they had been in various merchandise management roles for major brands and artists.   Together, they’ve dreamed up a way to streamline  and expand the merchandise opportunities for artists on the road, working at festivals and big events  with big names like U2, Microsoft and popular YouTuber event, PlaylistLive, to provide unattended vending experiences. In their words: “Providing an unattended retail experience means that musicians can focus on making music, meeting their fans and relaxing after a big night on stage.”

The USAT team is excited to catch Phoenix’s show this Friday at the Fillmore in Philadelphia. We can’t wait to see the machine in person and we look forward to learning more about this band and their decision to move into unattended retail. You can follow along the adventures of Super Mercato via the #supermercatophoenix hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. 

Have an interesting unattended retail story to tell? Let us know!

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