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Business trends

Fresh robot-baked bread hints at future of retail in China

Local juice company aims to turn errands into entertainment

A customer at X-24h, an automated store in Shanghai. (Photo by Daisuke Harashima)

SHANGHAI -- A Chinese company is offering a glimpse into how automated stores could evolve beyond a simple fad by spicing up otherwise dull shopping trips.

A store cryptically called X-24h opened in a busy shopping area of Shanghai late this June, with its sleek blue exterior revealing little about what was sold within.

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