This might be the future of provision shops.
In the void deck of a BLK in Hougang sits a provision shop with no one manning it. What the owner does, is trust Singaporean’s integrity and also the help of his 8 CCTV cameras in the store.
The store is entirely free of shopkeepers. Customers can grab whatever they want, and pay for it at the self-serviced cash register.
In order to get change, they will have to press buttons on the register and $1 or 10-cent coins will fall, one at a time, through a plastic tube and into a container on the machine.
The provision shop is owned by Mr Alex Song, 54 who also runs a clothing store in town. In the first few months of operation, he figured that it would cost way more to engage a shopkeeper to man the store. Therefore, he decided to take the plunge by starting this experiment.
He first started off by placing a few sweets and tidbits at the store front, and slowly expanded the operations as his trust grew.
However, giving the Singaporeans such a leeway also meant that there would be shop thefts. Shop thefts that were capture by the CCTV cameras would be printed out and pasted in the shops plastered around the store.
In an interview with The Straits Times, Mr Song commented that some even went back to return the money to him.
Once, three children, all siblings, stole food and drink worth over $10. The cameras caught them very clearly. After I put up their photos, their mother took them to my shop to apologise and pay me back. She was sad and cried.
“It woke the kids up. A few days later, they wrote a letter to me to apologise.”
With regards to this new initiative, many netizens living near the area have commented that it is a good initiative to test the integrity of Singaporeans, and also a good way to increase the convenience of residences living in that area.
Mr Song is now thinking of relocating to another location as business has not been as well as expected due to the poor traffic flow. He hopes to bring the shop to a new location to test out the system once more.
Feature Image: www.thestraitstimes.com
This article was first published on Goodyfeed.com