The self-service convenience stores “North Point Store” in Hong Kong are about to close due to alleged frequent theft. The expected date of closure is yet to be announced.
On Tuesday, we visited one of the store’s four branches in Hong Kong. Located on Tung Lo Wan Road in Causeway Bay, it is stocked with bottles of water and other drinks, some priced as low as HK$2.
Papers plastered outside the store window (pictured below) say ‘Farewell to cashier-less store. Misled by Chan Mo-po’, which is the Chinese name of Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary.
Above the store, there is a sign saying ‘GOVT LIES, SMEs DIE’.
Many customers are students or people passing by, attracted to the store by its low prices. Self-service stores often pose a problem related to public trust and customer tendency to avoid paying. According to local news media outlets, the operation was shutting down due to frequent theft, some occurring overnight. We were not independently able to confirm these claims.
Leanna, a 16-year old student who buys two bottles of water from the store everyday, said that she pays every time she makes a purchase, but has witnessed people behave otherwise.
Last time, I saw some people just grab some water and go away,”
Others were more optimistic, saying that the business model would work in Hong Kong.
To hear what others had to say and learn more about the store, watch the short video below.
(Featured image: Anagha Subhash Nair)