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Japan's Convenience Store Woman has lessons for retail tech

Amazon Go and rivals need to see automation as a means not an end

| Japan
A regular konbini clerk operates approximately 1,200 different tasks. (Photo by Momoko Kidera)

"More than a person, I'm a convenience store worker... My every cell exist for the convenience store," declares Furukura-san, the 36-year-old protagonist of Sayaka Murata's award-winning bestseller, "Convenience Store Woman."

She is so dedicated to her work as a part-time store clerk that she makes a vocation out of it. Fingerprints on the glass door need wiping; the ice-cream cabinet must be rearranged; the sundries shelf could use dusting... Nothing escapes her as she "listens to the voice of the convenience store."

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