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This shop is entirely self-service and it is up to the customer's self-consciousness to pay the due amount, Source: City of Gdynia

Relying only on trust proves lucrative for a shop in Gdynia

Relying only on trust proves lucrative for a shop in Gdynia

Not only does it make profits, but it also corrects delinquent behaviour

Imagine a shop that relies completely on the honesty of its customers: no sellers, no cashiers, no cameras. Just products, prices, and clients – a fair deal, in an ideal society.

How many people do you think will pay for the goods consumed? Turns out – everyone, at least as far as this small venture, attached to a horticultural farm near the Polish city of Gdynia, is concerned.

Money is not enough if there is no trust among people

As the city website of Gdynia reports, the farm owner - Daniel Wojtyński – has been running the experiment for over a year now and is pretty confident with the positive results of his business, but also about local society's values. As he explains, the shop works with a very simple, yet modern system, based on trust and a minimum need for human resources.

In particular, the owner spends his time on his horticultural farm in Mały Kack (near Gdynia). As a result of the agricultural work, he has a lot of fresh produce to sell on the spot.

The business obliges him to sell in larger quantities which means that he has practically no time to spend dealing with low-volume deals.

That is why, last July, he opened a self-service shop not far from the family farm. There, he offers a variety of local produce, issued from Malinogród (a garden of raspberries), puts a price on them and expects customers to be honest enough to pay the respective amount for the products of their choice.

The concept Wojtyński borrowed from a trip to Scandinavia and brought it to Poland – a country with relatively low social trust rates, compared to those of Norway and Sweden. Yet, he was positive that honest commercial interactions can find fertile ground in his town.

So, he put up two fridges and filled them with ripe raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and juice. He then placed prices and a cash bin for everyone to insert the requested amount (it is also possible to pay by bank or card).

Despite some initial mishaps, Wojtyński is convinced that the self-service shop is a success. Indeed, during the first couple of months from the opening, there were several thefts (including of an entire refrigerator, which caused him to lock the machine after all) and even an attempt to open the cash register. However, gradually, these incidents faded away.

What is more, he even managed to turn former offenders into employees, by giving them work on his farm and observing how they adopted socially responsive behaviour. All of this while saving significant amounts of time to work on his farm and offering passing hikers and cyclists a fresh snack and convenient way to get it.

Now, the farmer considers expanding the products on offer, as his shop is open all year round. If you happen to be in the vicinity of Gdynia, make sure to drop by at 19, Spółdzielcza street (in the forest between Orłów and Wielki Kacek). Fresh goods are available from 7.00 to 21.00.

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