Vending machine industry sees resurgence thanks to pandemic

Vending machines in Pattaya | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

While Covid-19 resulted in Thailand’s overall economy suffering, a few select industries actually saw some impressive growth. The vending machine business is booming, and with demand rising companies like Sun Vending Technology Plc (SVT) are experiencing renewed popularity. The company reported massive growth this year and is making plans to expand.

Senior vice president of SVT Pitsnu Chokwatana explained that the vending machine model had a resurgence during the pandemic. With social distancing in mind, he explains, people sought out ways to buy products without having to interact directly with other people and risk infection. SVT reported 11% year-on-year growth in the first 9 months of 2021, for a total of 1.45 billion baht in sales.

“After the bubble and seal measures were applied at factories to contain the spread of Covid-19, our business significantly improved. There is also more demand for our vending machines in various locations because vending machines fit a new normal and contactless lifestyle.”

Pitsnu explained that pre-Covid, vending machines accounted for around 5-10% of e-payment transactions. Now that number is up to 50% in some places. He went on to say that the company wants to expand its presence from 14,600 vending machines to 20,000 by 2023. The majority of these machines will be put in factories and logistics centres. According to the Bangkok Post, SVT is planning to spend 640-680 million baht on this project. Much of this investment will be to modernise and upgrade the company, and produce smart vending machines. The company also reports that they are opening two new branches next year, with plans to expand further in the years to come.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Luke Albers

Luke Albers is a writer from the United States. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelors degree in political science and a certificate in peace, conflict and security studies. He has lived and worked in Africa and India, and now calls Thailand home. Luke loves to use his writing to connect with new people and places.