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

By Bailey Hu, August 7, 2017

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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]

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