New hires at Lawson convenience stores to work remotely via avatars
AVITA Corporation, a Japanese company providing business solutions based on avatars, and Lawson Inc, which operates Lawson convenience stores throughout Japan, have entered into a collaboration.
Their goal is to provide potential employees with a new way of working not limited by factors such as “time” and “place of employment” or visually recognizable factors such as “age, gender, or disabilities.” At the same time, Lawson hopes to provide consumers with a new form of contact-free customer service at their brick-and-mortar stores. Finally, by enabling remote work via avatars, Lawson seeks to alleviate their labor shortage and make night shift work more palatable.
Other advantages of avatar technology include enabling one person to work at multiple stores, implementing remote late-night crime prevention, providing online consultation with specialists, and remote and mobile sales of local specialty products.
Since both Lawson and AVITA share the same ideal of “expanding the possibilities of people” through service and technology, they came to an agreement in April, and began to test the viability of their collaboration on the use of avatar technology.
As the first step of their collaboration, AVITA’s avatar customer service service AVACOM will be introduced in the futuristic “Green Lawson” store scheduled to open in Tokyo at the end of November. AVACOM will be used to assist customers with any problems they may have, explain new products, and provide entertainment through collaboration with VTubers, all with the aim of realizing new forms of communication.
To this aim, Lawson has begun recruiting “avatar workers” for the Green Lawson store on its official website. 10 to 30 people are expected to be hired, and successful applicants will start working at Green Lawson at the end of November after going through training.
After conducting a trial run at Green Lawson, Lawson will train 50 “Lawson Avatar Operators,” avatar workers certified by Lawson, to work at 10 Lawson stores in Tokyo and Osaka by the end of fiscal 2023. Furthermore, Lawson aims to train 1,000 Lawson Avatar Operators to work at Lawson stores nationwide by the end of fiscal 2025.