Get your groceries from a robot at Honestbee's high-tech concept store

The Habitat store in Singapore features robot-powered collection points and automated checkouts.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read
Aloysius Low/CNET

Step aside Amazon Go, here's how you move your online store into a brick-and-mortar space.

Honestbee's new Habitat concept store showcases what it could be like to run out for groceries in the future. Located in what appears to be a former warehouse in an industrial district, the 60,000-square-foot store is staffed by robots and humans. There are automated check-out points where you can make payments through the Honestbee app. 

The online concierge service, which is known for food deliveries and laundry services, is also using the building as a fulfilment center.


The 60,000 square foot Habitat experience is pretty much like your standard retail store, but with a cashless twist.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Honestbee isn't the first online business to get into retail. Amazon and Alibaba are already experimenting in this area with their Go and Hema outlets. But despite malls in Singapore suffering from a retail slump due to the growing popularity of online merchants, the concierge service believes that there's still growth in physical stores. The company cites numbers from analysts indicating that 90 percent of retail sales are done in an actual store.

What sets it apart from similar retail concepts is that it also serves food like a cafe with over 15 types of food to choose from. You can pick up a wagyu steak from the butcher, or a fresh fish, and pay a bit more to get it cooked on the spot by chefs. There are no physical menus: Everything is ordered through the app.

Check out Asia-based grocery delivery startup Honestbee's super cool office

See all photos

If you just need to grab groceries, that's also easy. One you're done loading up your cart, head to the collection point, get the QR code on the app scanned and your cart will be sent to the sorting area, where Honestbee workers will tally up what you owe and bill it directly to you.

When you're ready to leave, you get your QR code scanned again, and a robot delivers it to your waiting hands.


The automated service will deliver your groceries to you after you're done shopping.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Honestbee says it's currently looking for partners to bring the experience to the other eight Asian countries it has a presence in, which includes Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.

Habitat opens to the public on Oct. 18, and if you're in Singapore, you should pop by to experience this new concept.

Follow the Money: This is how digital cash is changing the way we save, shop and work.

CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET's newsstand edition.