Italy's first cash-free supermarket

Here points, instead of cash are king, with points allotted to families according to economic need
7/26/2013

An Italian grocery store called Portobello in Modena, is being touted as the world's free supermarket.

The northern city, known for its famous sons such as Enzo Ferrari and Luciano Pavarotti, now is garnering different attention for this grocery store that opened in July where points, not Euros, are used to buy goods.

Customers are selected by social services, and predominently they're families who have lost at least 30% of their income. Goods are given a point value based on their necessity. So six eggs are worth one-and-a-half points, 250 grams of coffee two points.

Each family gets a card with a certain number of points per month. The number of points granted is proportional to the number of people in the family as well as points are allotted based on the difficulty of each family's economic situation.

For six months, families are granted free groceries, and depending on circumstances, that time frame can be extended.

With some 130 volunteers in the store, and growing, the Portobello's business model has been support by everyone from local politicians, to private companies.

To read more about Portobello, go here.

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