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Thursday , August 6 2020

Shoppers at various co-ops hail ‘barcode’ system during curfew

Masks and gloves being distributed to shoppers

KUWAIT CITY, May 21: How do we shop during the total ban period and also secure an appointment? These questions had been raised by many before the mechanism for booking shopping dates by barcode from all central markets and cooperative societies was announced.

Many emphasized the ease of dealing with the program, which made it easy for them to shop safely without noise, crowd or congestion. At Salwa Cooperative Society shoppers upon the resumption of work, after closing for 48 hours to sterilize the premises.

They praised the system despite the presence of some minor negatives, indicating it is a viable solution in the period of the coronavirus crisis. Member of the Board of Directors of Salwa Cooperative Society Fahd Al-Hadiya expressed thanks to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for developing the shopping system by means of a barcode system, pointing out that this system solved the issue of high population density in the Salwa region with a barcode mechanism set for the entry of 50 shoppers within half an hour, which improved the flow of work, and reduced panic, crowding and fear. For his part, Salem Al-Bisis, a departmental head at the Salwa Cooperative Society affirmed that they started receiving shoppers from 9am until 3pm, and after Iftar from 8pm until 1:30am.

He added the mechanism of receiving shoppers is by checking barcodes they have in the central market. He added three new branches have been opened alongside the catering branch, in addition to gas delivery service to all homes in Salwa area.

He pointed out that the cooperative continues to serve the country and people in the region, saying “God willing, we will be up to the task”. On the most prominent problems they face at work during the ban period, he said many shoppers come as husbands and wife – even though the barcode is individual, and it does not allow entry of two people with the same barcode, or shoppers under the age of 18. As the law has become obligatory for everyone to wear masks, the cooperative societies provide all shoppers with free masks and gloves if they do not wear them to preserve their safety and that of the workers in the cooperative. Citizen Faisal Al-Sawagh from the Salwa region said he had booked through the barcode system to obtain an appointment for shopping from the cooperative, praising the level of organization by the administration and the availability of all foodstuffs and household necessities.

Thank God. For his part, Ali Al-Sawagh expressed admiration for the smoothness of the barcode system in facilitating shopping in the cooperative, pointing out that all precautionary health materials such as masks and gloves are distributed to the shoppers, “which is an excellent experience for me”. He added that all requirements of his house were available in the cooperative “from A to Z” and that his shopping period did not exceed half an hour. André Jean, a French resident in Salwa region stated that he experienced difficulty in obtaining the permit because the language of the program was Arabic, and that he secured an appointment to shop at the cooperative with the help of his neighbor, adding he found all requests for foodstuffs in the cooperative except for some fruits and tobacco derivatives, and “this would compel me to request another appointment after one week to a place that sells the items I couldn’t find in the cooperative, according to the law”.

He was told he could not take two appointments to shop within one week. Citizen Ali Abdullah also said he had difficulty obtaining an appointment to the cooperative, because he’s not conversant with the use of smart phones but he’s happy with the system because it facilitated the process of shopping for him and he was able to finish buying all the needs of his house in less than one hour.

He pointed out that the idea of shopping at an earlier date has pros and cons, especially during the ban period, because the time limit for shopping is half an hour and there are a lot of checkpoints in his area, which delayed him from reaching the cooperative at the appointed time, saying he was forced to wait outside the cooperative until he was allowed to enter and vice versa. “When a person goes there early he has to wait but the barcode system is very good”, he reiterated.

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