Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Stores in Austria Share Different Services…not Only Internet

Stores in Austria Share Different Services…not Only Internet

Monday, 11 December, 2017 - 07:30
A customer withdraws money from an ATM at a Societe Generale bank branch in Marseille, France, September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Have you ever thought you would shave your beard or cut your hair in a bank? Or buy a medicine from a post office? These options have become possible in many Austrian cities.

In light of competition driven by e-commerce and customer services, many traditional stores have been urged to reduce their expenditures by sharing their headquarters with other businesses that provide totally different services.

In this context, the State of Burgenland witnessed such measures based on extensive studies which asserted that with automation and online services, companies do not need huge branches anymore, and that they may benefit from their large establishments located in the heart of cities if they share it with other businesses, which will bring them and their clients more benefits.

To implement this vision, a bank with a huge mall-like headquarters has rented out a part of its base to a beauty salon, barber shop, travel agency, along with a medical clinic, and an office for passport applications.

Another branch has limited its activity to ATMs, which provide many services like money withdrawal, transfer, and bill payment. It has dismissed its employees and rented out their large offices to provide other important services for citizens.

For its part, the Austrian post authority has closed many branches after launching its services on social media websites and smartphones, and kept only a few of its offices in pharmacies or banks.

It is known that post offices become highly active during this period of the year with the delivery of Christmas parcels.

These changes and co-services are not limited to large institutions. Last week, two artists organized an exhibition in a Kebab shop, taking advantage of its unique location facing the neighborhood's museum in one of the most important shopping streets in Vienna, especially as kebab shops have become a popular choice for fast food lovers.

Modern cafes are not only providing drinks and food, but are selling their furniture. Other shops sell books, and allow customers to browse and listen to CDs on their cellphones, so they can buy them.

Editor Picks