Chateraise opening first unmanned store outside Japan in Bukit Batok

SINGAPORE – Grabbing a sweet treat is about to get a lot more seamless.

Japanese confectionery brand Chateraise is launching its first unmanned store outside Japan in Singapore. The 280 sq ft space is located in Bukit Batok and will open on March 8. 

Customers can scan a QR code to download the Chateraise SG application before entering the store. After keying in their payment details and entering through the gantries, they are free to grab and go as they please. Only six customers are allowed in the store at any one time. 

Try new items, like the Double Fantasy Yakiimo – choux pastry filled with cream and sweet potato custard – and the Cookie Cream Puff, piped full of frozen vanilla or Belgian chocolate custard. 

Those who prefer familiar favourites will find the original custard and matcha Double Fantasy cream puffs, as well as the popular condensed-milk ice cream sandwiched between monaka wafers. However, whole and sliced cakes are not available. 

That is because the 24-hour store has no staff on duty. CCTV cameras and motion sensors mounted on the ceiling track what each customer has removed from the shelves.

“The biggest advantage of being open 24 hours is that customers living nearby can purchase products immediately without having to wait in line when they want to eat,” Mr Masayuki Matsuoka, director of Chateraise Singapore, tells The Straits Times during an exclusive preview of the outlet on Feb 26. 

Chateraise opened its first unmanned store in Tokyo’s Nishi-Azabu district in 2023. Customers there complete their purchases on payment terminals near the exit. 

However, at the Singapore outlet, customers can simply exit via the gantries with their items, with the app automatically deducting the relevant amount.

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