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Why is there no salesman in this Sharjah shop?

Afkar Abdullah /Sharjah
afkarali@khaleejtimes.com Filed on March 19, 2017 | Last updated on March 19, 2017 at 05.26 am
Why is there no salesman in this Sharjah shop?
A family calculating their bill after collecting the products.

The reason will surprise you.

When Salim Sultan Al Qaydi, an Emirati owner of three farms in Sharjah, decided to open a shop to sell his products, he was sure that it wouldn't be a normal shop. And Al Qaydi made a difference too.

Four months ago, Al Qaydi opened his shop on Sharjah's Mleiha Road. The first thing a customer can notice when entering the shop that offers fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and dates is the absence of a salesman. For Al Qaydi, trust is the salesman at his shop.

He leaves his shop open for the customers. Those who pass by the highway, stop at the shop to pick the vegetables and fruits, fresh from the farm. For those who feel a bit strange at a shop without a salesperson, Al Qaydi has put up signboards, which say "Feel free to help yourself". Then, every product has a price tag attached to it. Once you finish your shopping, there is a cash box where you can 'pay' the amount.

"I have been running the shop for four months. I just put the price list near the vegetables. People just pick up whatever they want and put the money in the container."

And not for his surprise, he never experienced any theft at the shop. "People are honest and I trust all of them. If some people took the products without paying, I never get upset. I just consider it as charity and leave him/or her to God's judgement," said Al Qaydi.

The aim of the shop is to instill honesty and trust among the people of the region and encourage them to help themselves.

The shop will be opened for three to four months a year as vegetables are available only during the season. Many people come from far away to buy the vegetables and fruits because they are confident about the quality of the products. "All the vegetables and fruits here are organic. Thankfully, the shop makes enough profit and more important is that the customers are honest and they never fail my trust. Many people are amazed with the idea of a shop without a shop keeper, as they believe that trusting any one nowadays is very difficult. But I never think negative. I just want to leave people for their own conscience. If they are honest, they will pay the money and if they do steal... well, I don't worry about it."

Al Qaydi said that the main objective of project is to teach people that there are still goodness prevailed in the universe. Customers who come from distant places enjoy buying the products without attendants in the 24/7 shop. There were many people, who come to take pictures in the shop and post it in the social media. He said that contributed a great deal in marketing his shop.

After the great success of the Idea, Al Qaydi plans to expand the services to other areas in the emirate to sell the products of his three farms, which house 300,000 trees and 50 other rare species.

For Al Qaydi, his project has one more purpose. "Through this I want to introduce the nationals, expats as well as tourists to the local agriculture products. Many of them think this country is just a desert and not suitable for agriculture and plantation."

Salama Al Kutabbi, a customer at the shop, praised Al Gaidi's idea. "The idea is successful here because of the security of the country. The honesty of the people who have faith in God also helps. On my way to home, I make stop at the shop every day to pick up the products I want. I check the price list and use the calculator kept here to add the prices and then put the money inside the container."

Alam Al Otaibi, another customer, said that the idea would teach ethics and good manners to the customers. "People will be reluctant to steal in this situation. Even those who are dishonest in other areas would be ashamed to take the products without paying," he said. 

afkarali@khaleejtimes.com

Afkar Abdullah





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