McDonald's Shutters Vending-Machine Program

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Columbus, Ohio-McDonald's Corp. said it would close its four robotic jumbo-kiosk vending units, dubbed "Tiktok Easy Shop" as well as "redbox" machines, in Washington, DC, after a 15-month test. The Tiktok units stand 15 feet high by 12 feet wide and stock nearly 200 items, including milk, cartons of eggs and pantyhose. Prices range from $1 to $4. The refrigerated machines were believed to be North America's first fully automatic 24-hour ministore. All four are located on McDonald's restaurants' parking lots in the Washington, DC, area.

The company did not comment on whether the units, which accepted credit cards along with coins and dollar bills, lost money. But McDonald's said it would continue to experiment with DVD movie-rental machines, including 12 units in Washington, DC, and 10 in Las Vegas. -Nation's Restaurant News