Peter Fox, an electrical engineer, has developed the Speedy Shop, a large vending machine that sells a variety of items like toiletries, groceries like milk and eggs, kitchen items, pet food, and more.
The automated store was designed to cater to the residents of towns that have lost their local shops. The first machine recently opened in Clifton, Derbyshire, a town that lost its last local store 14 years ago.
The Speedy Shop accepts cash and credit cards and its stock is constantly monitored. The machine sends out an email when it is running low on stock. It also has built-in security features such as cameras and alarms to mitigate theft.
Fox, who is from the town of Ashbourne, spent almost three years on the design of the machine. He says he had the idea for the machine years ago, but couldn’t find a manufacturer so he decided to build it himself.
Fox now has a company called Village Vending which manufactures and operates the Speedy Shops out of Ashbourne. The company plans to stock machines with local produce where possible, and more machines will be installed in other villages in the next few months. Fox is also in talks with village publicans who are invited to host a machine without having to pay fees.