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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Sellers at kiosks ‘prohibited from approaching shoppers’


People can now enjoy shopping without getting stopped or chased by sellers at malls after a proclamation was sent to all malls in the country.

On Monday, malls across Qatar received a circular from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry prohibiting sellers, particularly at kiosks, from chasing shoppers at malls to sell or promote their products.

A source familiar with the matter told Doha News that the Ministry had sent a circular to the managements of malls to inform them that sellers, particularly in perfume kiosks, are strictly prohibited from following customers. 

The circular came following several complaints from customers, the source confirmed. 

“The latest decision came after the issue got out of control with sellers leaving their kiosks and strolling in malls, chasing shoppers to sell them products,” Q mall manager Fadi Karam told Doha News in an interview.

Karam said that the “decision is already part of the mall’s communicated limitations and rules that restrict clients renting kiosks from disturbing shoppers or inappropriately approaching them.”  

He added, “We never witnessed such cases at the mall. It usually happens in other shopping centres.” 

He noted that the management works closely with their clients, and complaints are usually heard and appropriately addressed. 

Moreover, the Director of leasing and operation at Tawar mall, Tarek el Youssef said that the mall supports the decision by the Ministry. 

“We are with the decision, not against it for sure, because this issue has caused many problems with tenants,” he added.

Speaking to Doha News, he noted that such incidents “mostly occur in perfume and Oud kiosks.”

Asked about the issue, he said that “it reached an extent where sellers are leaving their kiosks and walking around the mall distributing testers.”

He explained that “the problem is that companies that rent kiosks pay less than a brand that rents a shop, but they have their sellers going around inappropriately following customers and creating chaos.

“At the same time, customers get disturbed by sellers following them trying to promote their products,” which he said was the reason behind the Ministry’s proclamation. 

“It has become a disturbance more than customer service,” he stated. 

Tawar Mall has implemented this decision “way before the announcement,” he said, adding that the management “informs clients willing to rent kiosks that they have a maximum of one metre distance outside their shop, not to be exceeded.”

Tarek said that previously some sellers would exceed three or four metres, which is not allowed. 

Social media users celebrated the news as dozens posted online with phrases like “finally” and “best decision.”

The MoTC circular states that “sellers are prohibited from chasing customers to present their products or offer their services.”

“Accordingly, all clients renting shops in shopping and commercial centres are urged not to follow or harass clients inappropriately while shopping,” the statement read.

The Ministry stated that offenders would be subject to public and legal prosecution in case of a violation of the listed laws. 

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