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Tue 31 Aug 2010 10:21 AM

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Saudi supermarkets hire female cashiers

Female staff work in separate sections designated for families only, surrounded with glass partitions.

Saudi supermarkets hire female cashiers
FEMALE CASHIERS: The Marhaba supermarket in Jeddah placed an advert in a local newspaper looking for female cashiers. (Getty Images)

Saudi supermarkets have pushed ahead with plans to employ female cashiers, despite objections and threats of a boycott, it was reported on Tuesday.

The Marhaba supermarket in Jeddah placed an advert in a local newspaper looking for female cashiers. The requirements included “being Saudi, possessing a high school or university certificate, willing to cover the face, and to put on a simple abaya with no decorations on,” the Arab News reported.

The move follows a similar initiative by rival supermarket chain Panda, which caused much controversy among the kingdom’s more conservative commentators.

One of the new female cashiers told the newspaper that was forced to accept the job after she failed to find a job as a teacher.

The graduate, who has a degree in history, said she was being paid SR3,000 ($799.94) a month and worked with five other female cashiers, eight hours a day from 8am to 4pm.

In both the supermarkets, the female cashiers work in separate sections designated for families only, which are surrounded with glass partitions.

Saudi columnist Mohammad Al-Saaid told the newspaper that the move was a sign that Saudi society had changed a lot in the last ten years and he disagreed with charges that the employment of female cashiers was no more than a marketing ploy by the two supermarkets.

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TMA 9 years ago

It is indeed fair to employee the Saudi females for this position as they are more committed & loyal to the job they undertake and stay for longer in the company. Having worked for a Hypermarket HR, I wouldl like to note here that it is a nightmare to retain the Saudi Cashiers and further hiring failrly competent cahsiers. And then, if the female cashier section is separated with Glazed glas partition and is reserved only for families, I do not see any problem as far as the Saudi Culture is concerned. This will also indeed be helpful to more conservative Saudi families wherein the females will hesitate to go shopping alone. Thanks,

Nev S 9 years ago

This trend will take a while before it reaches Riyadh.