Shenzhen's First Staff-Less Shop Claims Zero Theft in 4 Months

By Bailey Hu, August 7, 2017

1 0

As unbelievable as it seems, staff-less, CCTV-less shops that rely on customers' honesty to make money are officially trending in China.

Shanghai and Guangzhou have convenience stores, while Jack Ma opened an entirely unstaffed supermarket, called 'Tao Cafe,' in Hangzhou last month.

And while we're skeptical of the trend, the founders of Shenzhen's very own staff-less convenience store Circle Shop have been making bank, according to a report by Shenzhen Evening News.

READ MORE: Free Cash Being Given Away at this Guangzhou Metro Station

Co-founder Zhou Xunxun claimed that since the store opened this past March, it's had an average income of RMB30,000 and less than RMB300 in losses each month. Zhou also said that the losses were due to errors in bill calculation rather than theft.

The store, whose Chinese name '愚店' translates to 'stupid shop,' is in an area that hosts tech incubators and similar in Shekou, Nanshan District. It's open 24 hours and sells typical convenience store items like ice cream, drinks and cigarettes. Customers scan QR codes on pricetags to pay, or deposit cash in a box (there's also a box of RMB1 bills for making change).

There are no staff members, surveillance cameras or other tracking measures, meaning the store relies entirely on the honor code.


Surprisingly, it seems to have worked out so far. In addition to getting positive feedback from customers, Zhou and the other two founders – all under 30 – have apparently caught the attention of investors. In fact, they're already planning to open a second shop in Nanshan this September, and at least one more in Shenzhen in 2017, aiming for a grand total of four locations by yearend.

[Images via Shenzhen Evening News]

more news

Here's Where China's Biggest Online Shoppers Live

A report on 2019 data from China's Ministry of Commerce shows Guangdong consumers made up nearly a quarter of total online retail spending.

Here's Why Today is Another Shopping Festival in China

The mid-year shopping event is a prime excuse for JD to celebrate its founding while also racking in sales.

Ultimate Guide to Home Deliveries During Coronavirus Outbreak

Stay safe indoors while still getting ahold of necessary goods.

This Chinese Grocery Store Has Its Own IPA

Hema has their own craft brew brand and we’ve got to admit – we’re big fans.

Chinese Company Unveils 5G-Capable Unmanned Boat

The machine is able to monitor aquatic environments, equipped with a device that collects and tests water samples, as well as high-def cameras.

400 Cabs Turned Convenience Stores in Shenzhen

With the help of investors, freewheeling startup 'gogo car' has converted 400 cars into mobile convenience stores.

Drones of the Sea? Unmanned Ship Test Center Planned for Zhuhai

Ground breaks on a test site for unmanned ships in Guangdong province.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsShenzhen for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shenzhen With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's PRD!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.