- too good to be true /too good too bee troo/
- unstaffed /un-stahft/
- retail /REE-teyl/
- necessity /nuh-SES-i-tee/
- handy /HAN-dee/
[idiom] – so good that it is hard to believe, or seeming very good but not real
Lisa’s new job sounds too good to be true. She only has to work 6 hours a day but the pay is good.
[adjective] – not provided with a staff or official personnel
The unstaffed stations have special telephones instead to collect information.
[noun] – the activity of selling goods to the public, usually in stores
They expanded their retail operations by selling Korean products.
[noun] – something that you need, especially in order to live
The demand for enough necessities this pandemic is high.
[adjective] – useful or convenient
Don’t throw it away. The tool may prove itself handy in the future.
Singapore’s vending machines have taken it to the next level. You don’t only see typical food and drinks in the machines, but stuff like bread, curry puffs, freshly cooked pizza, freshly squeezed orange juice, and even cooked chili crab are there, too. Vending machines for books and even cacti exist in Singapore. And that’s not all: unstaffed convenience stores are also present, where everything is sold out of machines.
Why vending machines? Manish Kumar, managing director of salmon vending machines, says that these machines offer him his own retail space. For Mervin Tham, one of the three founders of a wagyu beef vending machine chain, the variety of such machines is expanding due to the fairly low entry barriers. “It’s a low-effort way of testing a product, especially if you’re starting a business of your own. And generally, there’s some interest towards the automated retail culture that you see overseas, like in Japan,” Tham says.
Because of the pandemic, however, Euromonitor forecasted a significant drop in Singapore’s vending machine industry. But the vending machines played a key role in the country’s pandemic response since they’re 24/7 and contactless. This means people don’t need to go to the supermarket to buy food and other necessities.
Vending machines have proven themselves time and again to be extremely handy to the public. They’re easily accessible and it’s easier to buy things from there. So whether there’s a pandemic or not, these small yet powerful machines will continue to prove their convenience not only in Singapore but all over the world.
- Based on the article, what other things are available in Singapore’s vending machines?
- Why did Kumar choose to have his own salmon vending machine chain?
- What did Tham say about vending machines and starting your own business with them?
- How did the vending machines in Singapore play a vital role in the country’s pandemic response?
- According to the article, what did Euromonitor predict?
- What is your opinion about the unstaffed convenience stores in Singapore?
- Aside from salmon and wagyu beef, what other raw food or ingredient vending machines do you think Singapore will have next?
- Do Japan’s vending machines sell the same items as the ones in Singapore? Please tell me more about it.
- In your opinion, why do some people still prefer to go to the supermarket despite the availability of vending machines?
- How do you think vending machines will affect other large businesses like supermarkets?