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365 Retail Markets' Home Base Lounge Demonstrates Micromarket Possibilities

Posted On: 8/23/2013

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TAGS: vending machine business, micromarket, micro market, self-checkout retail, 365 Retail Markets, Troy MIchigan micro market lounge, workplace coffee bar, single-cup coffee, Cafection Enterprises, Cafection Innovation Total 1, conduction-rethermalizing, HotLogic Macrowave, B&I break rooms, 365 SmartShop kiosk

micromarket, 365 Retail Markets

TROY, MI -- 365 Retail Markets is settling into its new headquarters in Troy, MI, a focal point of which is an employee lounge that showcases its micromarkets in a real-world setting.

The micromarket lounge is centered around a 365 SmartShop that brings employees the convenience of a coffee bar. "The lounge will encourage employee collaboration and happiness, and increase employee time on site," the company said. "It will also serve as an onsite model for industry members to see how a micromarket can offer a cost-effective way to increase employee benefits, productivity and satisfaction."

One approach to incorporating hot beverages into self-checkout stores is the new Innovation Total 1 single-cup brewer from Quebec's Cafection Enterprises. It is available with a printer that issues a barcoded receipt that micromarket customers can use for quick checkout.

The Total 1 features a 10.4" touchscreen user interface that displays an intuitive menu listing a variety of specialty drinks. The touchscreen also may be used to program the brewer, or programming and reporting can be remotely managed through a secure Web-based software tool.

Cafection's Innovation Total 1 measures 44" H. x 18.5" W. x 25" D., and is fitted with three hoppers for coffee beans and three canisters for dry product. Two of the hoppers have 4-lb. capacities, and the third holds 2 lbs. Two of the dry-product hoppers have 5.5-lb. capacities, while the third holds 1.4 lbs.

The brewer accommodates sufficient filter paper for 1,600 cups, incorporates a 0.8-gal. hot water tank and is programmable to offer three portion sizes. It can be plumbed in, or supplied with bottled water with the addition of a pump.

The Total 1 can be programmed to offer three portion sizes, ranging from 5 to 20 fluid ounces, and three brew strengths. The availability of three varieties of coffee bean, several soluble products and specialty drinks created by mixing freshly brewed coffee with a soluble product provides extensive customer choice. Accessories include dispensers for cups and condiments, as well as a matching service base.

The available receipt printer uses standard 2.25" (57mm.) paper, and can print a different code for each product variant. The customer simply scans this at the 365 checkout terminal, as he or she would scan any other purchase.

Another innovative piece of equipment that 365 sees as a good fit for micromarkets is an adaptive conduction-rethermalizing appliance manufactured by Haven Innovation (Grand Haven, MI).

The HotLogic Macrowave reheats food by measuring the mass and temperature of a sealed container placed on its "SmartShelf," then heating the shelf sufficiently to raise the container's contents to a temperature just over 165°F. (at which bacteria will not grow) and holding it at that temperature until it's consumed. No timer or function buttons are required.

Any kind of flat-bottomed container may be used, from paper to metal. Products are never heated above 200°F., and the even application of heat avoids hot and cold spots or charred edges. Since the Macrowave does not boil the water out of the food, it eliminates cooking odors and preserves moisture.

"The Macrowave is a fantastic addition to any micromarket, whether it is used to heat replacement meals sold in your micromarket or to merchandise breakfast items in the morning to drive traffic all day long," 365 Retail Markets reported.

Macrowave appliances are available in configurations from one to 24 shelves, meeting the volume demands of individuals, families and operators of large and small breakrooms.

In other 365 Retail news, the company is now offering kiosk "wing cards" in English or Spanish. The laminated kiosk attachments provide clear instructions to customers as to what to do once they've approached the checkout center.

The company is also beginning to integrate a new temperature sensor into the coolers and freezers that accompany its SmartShop kiosks. The new sensors provide significantly more accurate reading of temperatures 32°F. and below and save the battery life to ensure that the sensors are up and running 24 hours a day. The company will exclusively integrate the new sensors into its equipment once all existing supplies are deployed.