When The Shop Roams You

Caption: At top - customers sit at ease selecting groceries as shelf moves past. Lower photo shows clerk restocking the endless shelves. Inset shows operation of the novel store.

Modern Mechanix blog has a snippet from a new self-service store c. 1933 where instead of you roaming the aisles, the aisles roamed YOU! (Sorry, Yakov) It's not in Soviet Russia, instead it was in Los Angeles:

Moving Shelves Pass Customers in New Self-service Store

CUSTOMERS sit at ease as shelves move past them in a new self-service market opened in Los Angeles. The shelves are attached to an endless chain. The customers sit on stools before a counter and pick the groceries they want as the shelves move by. The moving shelf is 157 feet long and makes a complete revolution every eight minutes.

A great number of customers can be served simultaneously without the need of clerks to wait on them. As they leave the store the goods are checked by a cashier. The endless shelf passes around the rear of the store where the shelves are restocked.

The units of the endless shelf are neatly arranged, the various types of food, such as jams or canned vegetables being grouped together for easy selection. The shelf is driven by an electric motor.


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I would go mad just looking at all of the food just slowly trudging by. Efficiency is my goal at a grocery store. Of course, I do love the idea of the sushi restaurant style conveyor belt. They should do that with desserts at all places. ;)
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