Saudi conspiracy theory: the supermarkets did it!

Started by Figleaf, January 05, 2012, 01:44:58 PM

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Are supermarkets hiding 50 halala coins?
5 January 2012  -  10 Safar 1433 H — SG

RIYADH — Fifty-halala coins are becoming increasingly hard to find in supermarkets and many consumers suspect the shortage is no accident. Some claim it is a conspiracy to force consumers to handover their hard earned money to the supermarket.

"The price of most products exceeds 50 halalas and so customers must use the change to purchase something for it," a customer said, according to a report in a local Arabic daily.

However, supermarket owners say the reason for the lack of Halalas is because of an increased demand of the coin. They argue that prices for soft drinks, dairy products and juices have risen by 50 halalas and this has increased the demand of these coins by 300 percent.
The local newspaper spoke to some customers and supermarket owners to find out their views on the matter.

Muhammad Al-Duraihem, a banker, says the shortage of the 50 halalas necessitates that consumers carry the coins. He is adamant he won't be forced into buying something worth 50 halals just because a cashier doesn't have change.

"Fifty halalas is nothing to me but I feel cheated when a cashier forces me to buy something because he doesn't have 50 halalas."

Saleh Al-Day'an, a consumer, resents spending a riyal on something worth 50 halalas every time a cashier doesn't have change. He called for measures against what he calls outright cheating and exploitation. He insists the supermarkets are conspiring to dupe the customer.

"It can't be a coincidence when several supermarkets tell you they don't have 50 halala coins."
However, grocer Muhammad Mislimani refutes these conspiracy theories.

"The coins unavailability is solely because the demand on them has increased by 300 percent. It's difficult to keep a large quantity of them in the cash register because they take up a lot of space."

However, one supermarket head said that he believes some supermarkets are intentionally hiding the coins or keeping insufficient quantities in their cash registers.

Tareq Al-Halawani said the move is done purely for marketing. However, he admits that he too finds it hard to keep up with the demand for the coin.

"Everyday I break one hundred riyals into 50 halala coins but these run out in a few hours."
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.