Sephora fans, get excited. Currently, Sephora is testing out beauty vending machines in 20 smaller JCPenney stores that don't have the store-within-the-store locations. The vending machines, operated by ZoomSystems, are similar to the ones you often see in the mall for Proactiv Solutions. They'll include 50 of Sephora's most popular products, including Korres, Dior, Bare Escentuals, and Philosophy. (Dior at Penney's! Can you believe it?) We'll have to wait and see how the program plays out, but in the meantime, I'd love to know your thoughts.
You can get just about anything out of a vending machine these days. There's iPods, selections of DVDs, and even hot dogs (ick). I've seen my fair share of beauty vending machines throughout the past few years, but a new type of automated shopping is about to class things up with U*tique Shop, the a luxury beauty product machine that recently hit the market.
While the company has plans to launch the upscale shopping device worldwide, they've just unveiled the first one at Fred Segal in Santa Monica. Playing up the interactive factor of a touch-screen surface sans salesperson, the colorful machine uses a lighted display to appeal to your inner geek girl. Among some of the 50 frequently changing spots in the machine's cubby holes are Bliss, Lancome, Bliss, Chantecaille, C.O. Bigelow, Lancaster, ZIRH, Lipstick Queen, and Zelens. Are you dazzled or indifferent?
Photo courtesy of U*tique
It may look absurd at first glance, but I think a coin-operated sock machine is a fantastic idea. Instead of tempting kiddies with sugary sweets, tramp stamps, or those obnoxious bouncy balls, this machine spits out some peace of mind. Communal play areas are raging germ zones and the sooner we can turn our little peeps into paranoid germaphobes, the better. You with me?
This weekend, I was dodging the crazy crowds at a shopping center in San Francisco. As I was on my way out, I ran across this large Elizabeth Arden vending machine. Selling items through vending machines is nothing new in the tech world, and for that matter, it's pretty common in Japan. But this is the first time I've seen beauty products being sold in this manner.
The vending machine was stocked with Intervene Eye, Prevage night cream, fragrances, and gift sets. (No sign of color cosmetics, though.) You could shop through a touch-screen, bypassing the beauty counter completely. Although a few dudes were curious about the giant beauty machine, most women looked at it and walked right by. I think this is probably more of a marketing tactic than a way to actually boost sales, but who knows? Tell me, would you buy your beauty products from a vending machine?
If you walk down the canned food aisle at your local supermarket you'll find canned fish, canned peas, canned beans and even canned meat. But what if I told you that you might find canned bread?? The B&M company's been making a canned brown bread (with or without raisins) for ages, however folks in Japan have stepped it up a notch. In Japan you can actually purchase several different kinds of canned bread — chocolate chip, coffee, fruit and nuts, and raisin and fruit, not just "brown" flavor. The cans were originally intended to be used as emergency rations, however they are now available in vending machines throughout Japan. Perfect for when that 3am carb attack hits.
What do you guys think? Would you try it?
Source: Tokyo Times
Doritos, Fritos, Oreos, gummy bears, Lays potato chips, Snickers, M&Ms, Butterfingers, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Bars, Lifesavers, Twizzlers! I know this sounds like a PMS wish list, but this is the "food" in the snack vending machine where I work. You call that crap a snack?!
I'm usually one to bring my lunch and snacks from home, and this is a major reason why - It's hard to find healthy food in a pinch. It's really becoming annoying! I mean, what kind of message is this sending to kids (and adults) when everywhere they turn is sugar, partially hydrogenated oil and trans fat!
I wish we could replace all those crappy snacks with healthy, energy-giving munchies that are made of actual food. Here's what I'd put in my healthy vending machine:
- granola bars like ones made by Kashi and
- Whole grain crackers like TLC crackers
- Tiny tubs of real peanut butter (just peanuts - no sugar or corn syrup)
- Packages of mixed nuts
- Packages of dried fruit
- Bear Naked Trail Mix
- Nature's choice cereal bars
- Newman's Own Organic pretzels
- Gardin of Eatin' Tortilla chips (I love Pico de Gallo)
- Endangered Species Chocolate bars
Fit's Tips: Until YoNaturals, the San Diego based company with the healthy vending machine idea gets its machines into the world, be your own vending machine. I always keep granola bars and ziploc baggies of trail mix in my purse and gym bag just in case.
Wouldn't it be great if you could get your favorite health food from a vending machine?
Well, my buddy YumSugar just told me about the San Diego based company YoNaturals, and they are bringing health food to the ultimate icon of snacking convenience - the vending machine.
YoNaturals is on the front line in the battle against junk food vending machine, and I wholeheartedly applaud their efforts. In their Yo!Zone and Yo!Thirsty machines you won't find the junk food staples of your youth. Gone are the fluorescent orange cheddar crackers filled with hydrogenated oil laden peanut butter, in their place you will find Annie's Organic Cheddar Bunnies and Pirate Booty. Instead of candy bars, you can choose from a selection of energy bars, like some of my faves - Luna, Clif and LARABARS. Soda is replaced with organic milk and organic juices. Yippee!!!
Yo!Naturals distribution is growing ever wider and you should be on the look out for their machines in hospitals, hotels, offices and schools - you know large, kind of institutional places. Just the kinds of places where you need a snack and can never find anything healthy to satisfy your hunger.
I blame my unhealthy college eating choices on the fact that there we were located on top of a hill with miles to the nearest store and the only thing providing sustenance between the hours of 9pm and 6am was a nearby vending machine. I cannot tell you how many papers were finished with a diet coke in one hand and a bag of chips in the other. Imagine how healthy I could have been if there had been, oh say, a vending machine that dispensed healthy treats instead.
YoNaturals is a rapidly expanding network of healthy vending machines called: Yo!Zone and YoThirsty? (which are snacks & drinks). With their distribution circle growing wider by the day, the machines are currently found in some offices, schools, hospitals, hotels, etc. They offer more than 100 types of natural snacks/beverages including: Clif Bars, Vitamin Water, Horizon Organic Milk, Bumble Bars and Stacy's Pita Chips.
After all my vending binges in college, I sort of made a pact to myself to avoid them whenever possible. However, if we had one of these in our office, I know I'd hit it up more often than not.
The world's first flash memory vending machine has today been installed at London Gatwick Airport's North Terminal, proving that these days, gadget folks will put just about anything in an easily-accessible glass case. The vending machine movement was started of course with the iPod vending machines and has clearly evolved into other electronics.
According to the Inquirer, the flash drive vending machine will give out Kingston Memory's SD cards, CompactFlash cards and DataTraveler USB drives and other bits and bobs to travelers wandering through airports.
According to media reports, one of the iPod machines at the Atlanta, Ga. airport pulls in about $55,000 a month in gross sales. Business Traveler Service, which operates the Zoom machines in the Atlanta airport, says they haven't found any customer resistance to using a credit card to buy a $300 iPod from the machines.
Lots of people have a hard time staying on their diet at work due to one main culprit: The vending machine. Duh, duh, dom...
It's hard to believe that one machine can wreak so much havoc on your diet (and your wallet), but it can and it does.
If you find yourself heading to the vending machine during the day, read more