September 26, 2023 – The first Konzum smart store opened in Zagreb last week. The store in Kurelčeva Street is unique in that there are no cash registers or salespeople working there. All purchases are made via a mobile application and cameras and sensors in the store.
Although there is no cashier in the Konzum smart store, employees do still work there filling the shelves, writes Index. According to Konzum, at least one employee is always in the store, which is why it also falls under the government’s law on non-working Sundays and holidays.
As for the opening times, you can smart shop from Monday to Saturday between 8:00 and 21:00 and on working Sundays from 8:00 to 13:00. Until the end of this year, the store will be open every Sunday.
When asked if they plan to open more smart stores, Konzum says that they have no such plans at the moment. “This is extremely advanced technology, the cost of which is very high. By opening this store, we wanted to show that we are an innovator and the first on the market. As for the future, we will see how things work with this one, especially when there is a greater influx of tourists who find it the most interesting,” they say.
How Well Does the Konzum Smart Store Work?
Index investigated. Before entering the store, it is necessary to scan the QR code generated by the application, and a certain amount is automatically deducted from the account, which is used for “pre-authorization,” that is, a kind of security deposit that Konzum wants to insure against possible theft or damage that the customer could cause. This amount is returned to the customer’s account after the purchase. Konzum did not specify when.
On their first visit, 50 euros were automatically deducted from the account, and they only received the money back five days after the purchase. Regarding the inquiries about when the pre-authorized funds should be returned to the customer, Konzum first responded that they had nothing to do with that. Apparently, it’s all up to the client’s bank, and some banks are simply “slower” than others.
On the third day after the purchase, Index contacted Konzum again, and they repeated that everything depends on the bank and that pre-authorized funds are usually returned within 24 hours.
“When purchasing in the Konzum SMART store, Konzum makes a reservation, i.e., pre-authorization of funds on the customer’s card for a possible purchase in the store. With the pre-authorization, funds in the specified amount are only reserved for Konzum, and after the purchase is made and the receipt is issued, the amount of the purchased items is charged, and Konzum immediately sends information to the bank that processes card transactions about the difference that should be returned to the customer,” Konzum explained.
Changes One Week In
On the first day, they also assured Index that the error probably occurred because “there were a lot of people” in the store at that moment and that such pre-authorization of funds exists in all countries with smart stores worldwide. But it seems that the problem was not a once-off because a few days later, the pre-authorization amount was significantly reduced, from 50 to 10 euros.
Upon inquiry, Konzum directs to their website, where more information can be found. They did not give a direct answer to the question of whether other customers had the same problem, but it was clear that the launch of Konzum SMART did not go without problems.
“As for customer comments on Konzum SMART, so far we have received positive comments and praise, as well as suggestions for further improvement of our service in this unique project in the region,” they commented the short question.
Contact Konzum and Your Bank
In the end, Konzum apologised. “One of the goals of opening Konzum SMART is to simplify purchases, and we are extremely sorry about this situation. Immediately upon learning this, we contacted the banks to speed up the refund process.
Customers will receive a refund, and if this does not happen, we invite customers to contact us and their bank to perform all necessary checks and return the money as soon as possible,” said Konzum.