Eighteen Rabbit look to the future with new “honesty” model. | Eighteen Rabbit Fair Trade

News

Eighteen Rabbit look to the future with new “honesty” model.

by Andrew Williams | March 31, 2016

Hay on Wye is famous for its “Honesty Bookshops” – open air book shops where customers leave their payment in an honesty box. Now, the town’s fair trade shop, Eighteen Rabbit, is taking a leaf out of the Honesty Bookshop model to give its Lion Street store a modern twist on shopping.

With advances in automation it is now possible for Eighteen Rabbit to open its doors without a costly wage bill for staff. Instead, customers will choose their purchases in the normal way before taking them to an automated checkout system, similar to the ones recently installed in the revamped Hay Co-operative Food store. Savings made on staffing will allow an even greater premium to be paid to fair trade producers around the globe, and with the time saved the owners of Eighteen Rabbit hope to be able to devote more resources to discovering new fair trade treats.

Shop manager Andrew Williams commented,

“We’ve seen advances in technology over the past few years, from online shopping to more sophisticated till systems, so this was the logical next step. It’s also a nod to the great heritage in Hay of the Honesty Bookshops. We know our customers will love the flexibility that honesty shopping gives them, and while we’re aware there is a potential for theft we have faith that visitors to the shop will treat it in the spirit it’s intended.”

Eighteen Rabbit founder Louise Davies added,

“I can’t wait to see the new system up and running. After a period of beta testing we’re confident the system should be pretty much fool-proof. The additional cameras we’re installing will allow us to monitor the shop wherever we are in the world. I’m looking forward to being on the beach in Puerto Escondido next month safe in the knowledge that the honest shoppers of Hay on Wye are keeping me in the manner to which I have become accustomed.”

The Eighteen Rabbit honesty system will be testing from 9am this morning until noon when the pros and cons can be evaluated by a crack team of IT specialists.