Swedish businessman Robert Ilijason shows how customers use a cellphone app to scan purchases at the 24-hour convenience store he has opened in Viken. (Jan Olsen/Associated Press)

A late-night scramble to buy baby food gave a Swedish man the idea to open the country’s first unmanned convenience store.

Robert Ilijason, 39, had to drive 20 minutes to an open grocery store to buy food for his son. Now the town of Viken, Sweden, has its own 24-hour shop for bread, milk and other conveniences.

Customers use their cellphones to unlock the door and scan their purchases. They must register for the service and are charged each month for their purchases. He hopes the savings of having no staff will help bring back small stores to the countryside.

“My ambition is to spread this idea to other villages and small towns,” Ilijason said. “It is incredible that no one has thought of this before.”

Ilijason receives deliveries at the shop and stocks the shelves. He lets the customers do the rest.

He has installed six security cameras to discourage shoplifting but hasn’t had an incident since the shop opened in January.

“I live nearby and can always run down here with a crowbar,” Ilijason said with a laugh.

— Associated Press