Jofemar Open24 Meets C-Store Demands On SUNY Cortland Campus

Posted On: 6/7/2018

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CORTLAND, NY -- A flexible modular multiproduct merchandising system from Jofemar USA called Open24 is meeting the needs of students around the clock at the State University of New York's Cortland campus. The new installation, run by Cortland, NY-based Robbins Vending, replaced a Shop24 automated convenience store at the site.

According to Charles (Chip) Wood, a co-owner of Robbins Vending, the campus's Auxiliary Services Corp. had purchased a Shop24 machine six or seven years ago. After Shop24 went out of business in 2016, ASC phased the machine out and sold it to nearby Morrisville College. In October 2016, ASC contacted Robbins Vending, a well-established operation, to ask about alternatives.

Wood, in turn, got in touch with Jofemar USA, which suggested that its novel Open24 Automated Micromarket system could do the job. Robbins Vending purchased one and set it up in a custom enclosure on the same site as the defunct Shop24. Wood told VT that it is proving very popular.

ALL-NIGHTERS' DESTINATION: Jofemar Open24 system, consisting of a central touchscreen-equipped controller and four satellite vending modules, is meeting the convenience needs of students and others at New York State University in Cortland, NY.

Jofemar's Open24 consists of four satellite dispensers - Jofemar's popular Vision ES machines configured as satellites - linked to a central user interface and controller. Two of the dispensers are refrigerated, with health switches; the other two are ambient. The central control module features a 27" touchscreen selector and houses the payment system, which includes a Nayax card terminal as well as a bill validator and a coin changer. An optional receipt printer is available; receipts for cashless purchases also can be emailed to the customer.

The Vision ES glassfront multiproduct venders incorporate a novel conveyor-belt transport mechanism (Jofemar calls it an "extractor") capable of accommodating packages weighing as much as 8 lbs. or as little as 1 oz. A front-mounted XL elevator, traveling behind the glass, delivers selections gently and can carry signage or brand graphics.

Wood told VT that the Robbins Vending Open24 shop on the SUNY Cortland campus is stocked to make it easy for patrons to find what they're looking for quickly. The four vending units, arranged in pairs, flank the control module; the first machine on the right contains a range of personal-care items - from toothpaste and toothbrushes through nail clippers and razors - to over-the-counter pain remedies, and even USB cords. The machine to its left is merchandised with grab-and-go foods, including a variety of sandwiches and packaged snack and dessert items such as puddings. The third machine, to the immediate left of the controller, is stocked with an array of beverages, from 2-l. (34 fl.oz.) bottled soft drinks at the bottom and single-serve milk, sports drinks and juices on the shelves above them. The last dispenser, at the left end of the bank, is stocked with multi-serving bags of snacks, cans of Pringles potato chips, boxes of breakfast cereal and full-size boxes of favorites like Cheez-Its. The multi-serving packages typically weigh 6 oz. to 7 oz.

Wood reports that the machine sees its heaviest traffic between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.. He has found that the majority of customers buy products to take back to their dormitories, which accounts for the popularity of multi-serving packages.

He added that the present menu and product positioning are the result of continuous refinement. "It has been a learning curve for us, but it does very well," he told VT. "We're always looking to try new products, to keep the customers coming back."

In addition to the Jofemar Open24 installation, Robbins Vending operates snack machines on the SUNY Cortland campus; cold-beverage vending is handled by Coca-Cola Bottlers of Syracuse.

The Open24 system is Jofemar's latest application of the versatile Vision ES machine, which was designed for easy remote control. Jofemar's full-house fresh-brew Coffeemar machines can control an adjacent Vision ES from a single user interface, and Jofemar reports that it's exploring the possibilities of integrating a Coffeemar module (and perhaps a frozen Ice Plus dispenser as well) into the Open24 system.

Robbins Vending has a long history in the Cortland area. It began in 1894 as a retail outlet that sold hunting and fishing gear and tobacco products. The Wood family, its present owners, purchased it in 1928 and added vending in 1964.