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New Bookstore Opens in Dubai, What's Missing? The Staff

I wonder what its customer service is like....

I feel like every time I want to buy something at a bookstore, I have to wait several minutes in a line leading to the registers. It would be nice if I could just skip the long lines and any awkward social interactions with the cashiers and pay as I walk out of the store. While I may never get to experience this, if you happen to be in Dubai, you will.


Book Hero is a bookstore that recently opened in Dubai Sports City.  It stocks around 20,000 titles from a variety of genres and languages. But this shop is not your average bookstore. The store is open all day, every day and is manned by a grand total of zero employees.


All books have colored stickers denoting price. Rather than handing over money to a person, customers are expected to drop the appropriate amount in the "Trust Box" at the store's exit. Yes, you read that correctly...the entire store is run on trust.


Book Hero

Image Via Gulf News


The owner Montserrat Martin comes into the store once a day to replace stock and collect money.  When questioned by Gulf News about the "trust" policy, she said that "nobody would steal a book" and claimed that even if someone did, it is "nothing compared to what [she] would spend on hiring staff and paying for overheads like visa and insurance." She claims that the store sells over 100 books every day.


Book Hero also has a pop-up stand, which is staffed but still has a trust box for payments, that will be at Dubai Marina through May, as well as a mobile book truck that goes to various communities on weekdays. Unusual business model or not, it's hard to argue with success.


Feature Image Via Baubles to Bubbles