With translation from Heba Fahmy
Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) has temporarily closed the grocery section of a popular hypermarket on Salwa Road for five days.
On its Facebook page, the MMUP said that Quality Hypermarket’s food section was shut for “preparing and trading in food items under unsanitary conditions.”
Photos posted by the MMUP showed that inspectors cordoned off several areas of the store, including the bakery, dairy and meat/fish sections.
The hypermarket’s upstairs area, which contains electronics and other home accessories, remains open to the public.
The closure appears to have caught many Qatar residents off-guard, and comes ahead of a busy shopping season as Ramadan starts next week.
From the outside, the hypermarket looks operational, but shoppers looking to buy foodstuff were barred entry by several large white screens and banners.
During a visit to the store this morning, Doha News observed several shoppers stopping to read the signs affixed to the screens that said, “(the) supermarket will reopen within (a) few days, sorry for the inconvenience.”
Some asked a nearby security guard and staffers at the customer service booth for clarification, but were told only that the supermarket was closed and would reopen shortly.
Employees declined to comment on the closure to Doha News.
The hypermarket is expected to completely reopen on Tuesday, June 16.
Hoping Quality Hypermarket will re-open again in time for the Ramadan season
So everyone’s gets sick? How mean of you
No offense to you MIMH, what i am saying is that once they fix their problems, comply with prescribed sanitary regulations and improve their services, i am hoping they can serve their customers again.. 🙂
since they got a warning and closed , the next time they open they will be extra careful . so i guess it would be the best place to shop :D.
That’s probably true!
Will they be forced to change their name to “Suspect Quality Supermarket”?
Good work and am glad that the store was named rather than the old ‘a large and well known store on D ring road..’ What continues to baffle me is how some rules and regulations can be so efficiently enforced and others can’t. Why can’t we get the folks who head Baladiya to run some other departments, hmmmm?
Didn’t realise things were so bad! I shop there every week, but thought the food, especially fish, section looked and smelt very suspicious when I was there on Wednesday. tx for the info
We take your comments very seriously and we are already working on things which need improvement. We will not let you down again.
Strange u found doha news to give clarification. Even when I pass ur area some bad smell comes. Nice tactics u got to get back the trust of the customers
Tx, Aboonavas. I see you are the general manager there – wish other companies/government officials would also communicate like you do. The shop still has my support, also because you hosted this good thing: http://www.gulf-times.com/culture/238/details/442472/charity-concert-for-nepal%E2%80%99s-earthquake-survivors
Smelled fishy, I presume!
I work in Quality. The shop was closed for violating the municipality regulation for sure. But it was not for unsanitary food handling.
It was because few newly arrived staff in the food department was on their on job training before completing their health certificate.
The picture of fish in the box is the Sardine fish while serving and cutting.
Too bad what’s hygienic and what’s not is subjective depending on where one is from
I am sure the store will improve itself and reopen and work hard to meet customers expectations
On behalf of Quality I duly apologise for letting our customers down. I promise, we will strongly come back to exceed our customers expectations.
Well done to you, Aboonavas, for coming on here and communicating – that’s more than many companies do.
Parking on back side (!)
The same old story again.
Quality supermarket, nice fancy name but its so sad that they don’t train their staff in safe, healthy and sanitary working practices and neither do they pay them well to encourage them to perform well
We promise you that we will give sufficient training to all our staff to perform at the highest standards. This is an area we need improvement for sure.
Please note that in value retail industry, for the year 2015, our salary packages are next to France based international retail chain in Qatar. None of the other value retail competitors of ours pay better package at present and we are proud about it.
You would be also interested to know that all the staff(not just supervisors) get additional incentive if they meet their department targets which is very rare in value large format hypermarkets.
If we keep aside our newly opened outlets of Quality Mall – Al Mamoura and Quality Hypermarket – Bin Mahmoud, 65% of our staff are with us from the beginning from 2010 which shows the dedication and commitment of our staff to the institution.
Quality Hypermarket is part of a family of 22 companies with approximately 3,000 employees in Qatar alone, of 12 different nationalities. You will be glad to know that, we were one of the first Qatari companies to visit Nepal after a series of earth quakes hit the country few months back, to both giving them more jobs and to be part of the relief efforts in a humble way.
I would humbly invite you to our office to understand these facts first hand, if you wish sir.
This hypermarket deserves it, before they give out dated food to me when I open to eat really got mad , I complaint them via phone… but now… someone give good lesson to them….
We are absolutely saddened at the one sided and partial view of this article. As a responsible media, Doha News should have taken our comments as we were fully available to comment at all times.
Yes, it’s true that Quality Hypermarket is partially closed by the authorities for violating the law. But that’s not for failing to keep a healthy and sanitary condition in the show room. It’s for failing the health certificate requirement for the employees as we had trainees in store waiting for their visa to be stamped. We can get their health certificate only after stamping visa. We are rectifying this failure immediately.
But as we all can see from below comments, there are many areas Quality Hypermarket need to improvement in terms of Hygiene, Quality of service and over all shopping experience. We will take your criticism and comments on board and improve ourselves to exceed your expectations.
Approximately 10,000 to 11,500 customers depend on us for their daily needs. These customers have put their trust on us for the past five years. And we will make sure that their trust is justified.
Thank you to all of you for your constructive criticism, comments and feedback. We have reached this far with all your wholehearted support and we are confident to win back your support by achieving higher standards of performance.
So you are saying Doha News is telling lies with its headline? I’m shocked and they should issue an apology if they are wrong
As I said in the initial comments, we are not here to pretend that everything in Quality Hypermarket is of the highest standards. As clearly evident from the comments, there are many customers who have pointed out areas of improvement for us. And that’s exactly what you are going to see in the days to come so that we live up to our name.
We had scheduled refurbishment / re fit out works for the off season days past Eid Ul Fitr and we are hoping to invite you all to a new Quality Hypermarket – Salwa Road by the time for Eid Ul Adha with a new / much modern store design and shopping experience.
What we need is all your support and guidance. We are one of the major value hypermarkets in Qatar in terms of foot flow just because of you only. And we are here to live up to your expectations.
kudos to you Aboonavas. You did a fantastic job elaborating on the issue concerning Quality Hypermarket. I like the fact that you accept in public your organisation need improvement in some areas and trying your best to fix all the issues. You don’t pretend.
For me, this is absolutely good Public Relations.
You should make MIMH your in house quality inspector – he knows everything about everything…..
He is very expensive though – drives a Maserati and flies only business class…..perhaps appoint him as a consultant but then he might tell you what you already know in a pretty PowerPoint……
The best way to get him to work free is to have a post/article on Dohanews
He’s only inviting you to a “Grand new opening”…..
……..I already see a conflict of interest.
At least you are taking time to respond to this event, unlike most businesses in Qatar.
It is good that manager of Quality Hypermarket is giving clarification online.
But the company should not hide the reason and the Ministry stickers behind white screens. I am sure the Ministry notices are for public information and it is illegal to not keep them visible. Such smart actions may get them a new fine.
Ministry stickers never reveal any additional information about the violation what is available in ministry website. As you can see in the above pictures, these are the general stickers which ministry use in any closures or violation. Whether it’s done for one single fairly smaller violation or a major violation.
We are using this closure time for doing all essential maintenance/refurbishment works inside the premises including improving air quality inside the common premises.
We are operating under Municipality of Al Rayyan and they conduct frequent visits to all food outlets including hypermarkets and impose big fines for even any first instance of small violations. But they have never published or made available any comprehensive Quality manual or guidelines for food establishments to follow and to adhere to.
For example, in the past, We had fines imposed for having traces of mud on elephant yam which is a tuber whose shelf life is better with some mud on it. We had inspectors cutting apples and checking has it gone bad inside and many many others. But this is the law of the Municipality and we are respecting it and working hard to rectify any problems they want us to.
Hmmm very interesting – no published standards in place but they penalize businesses for not following standards….
……perhaps a news article Doha News should take up.
On the other hand, considering you acknowledge shortcomings, respond to allegations – a first I have seen in Dohanews. I have never visited quality before but I’d like to patronize your establishment.
I’m pleased that they come and impose harsh fines for violations. Them closing that whole section of the store seems to indicate that what they found on this visit was not a minor thing as you have stated. It really annoys consumers that there is so much substandard food sold here which needs to be thrown out within a day or two. So yes they should be keeping a close eye on how stores operate as it’s the publics health they are safeguarding.
To be fair, our reporter tried to speak to management and staff yesterday, and was rudely rebuffed. So it’s not really accurate to say Quality was “fully available to comment at all times.” However, thank you for this clarification.
Thank you for your clarification. Immediately after seeing your post, I have looked at the video of your reporter inside our show room and her conversation with our security and customer service personnel. It is not true that she was rudely rebuffed, but she didn’t get an immediate response to see a manager. But if your reporter was patient enough, it would have been definitely possible considering the situaton.
We had advertisements running in print, radio, visual and social media for the weekend and there was a record number of people turned out over Thursday and Friday and customer service staff was trying to make them understand the situation. You can imagine the panic. A bit more sensible approach from your reporter might have helped.
As explained in earlier posts, our Salwa road outlet serves 10,000 to 11,500 customers average a day as they have put their trust on us. And in this occasion we failed to upkeep their trust.
As a common man, I can see that Doha News is popular among hundreds of Qatari citizens/residents is primarily because of the trust they have placed in your institution and the news you report. In this particular instance, your reporting have miserably failed to upkeep that trust. The overall understanding someone gets from your report is way too inaccurate. And as a reader you have let us down.
But we do not worry too much about it and as everyone pointed out, we have a big job to do.
Thank you everyone for your patience and God bless us all.
I continue to find it unfair that you call our reporting “miserable” when it was Quality that refused to comment to journalists or to customers about what happened. As you said, time was of the essence as people were flocking to the store to shop over the weekend.
The Baladiya already posted its reasons for shutting down the store, and that is what we based our article on. How long did you want DN to wait for a comment? Nobody at the store said one was forthcoming, and Sunday would certainly have been too late.
I’m glad you are reaching out to customers now, but frankly, it’s a bit disingenuous to blame Quality’s problems on our story.
Shabina point is not wether they answer or not point is why the new guys are allowed inside to handel food stuff without medical report. So many years reading doha news should u guys appoint tech guys how can you miss this point. Kudos to doha municipality.
Good to see someone acknowledging their mistakes and apologizing to their customers. I have never been to your shop but I am now looking forward to visiting it.
Good. Be sure to follow the big sign, and park on back side.
You serve 10 000 customers daily? Wow, that is a lot. Anyway I’m sure that they will be able to get their grocery items from another store so it’s not exactly that they depend on you, more that they shop with you.
Humm how can you allow a person dont have medical card to handel food stuff. What action you have take for the guy who took these new guys to handel food. Blah blah blah. Answer please.
Yet Carrefour store their cakes and pastries in plastic containers which I have now witnessed, more than once, been opened and fingered/slurped, only to be closed and put back on the shelf.
When I collared a manager about this, he could not see a problem. He simply offered an alternative cake. Needless to say I declined.
NEVER, buy cakes form Carrefour.
I did suggest to the same manager that perhaps it would be a good idea to place the sticky pricing labels over the join in the box (a la Europe) apparently I was instantly declared ‘crazy’!
Nice one Carrefour, really well done!
Be comforted in the fact that there are far more germs on the trolliey handles that you collect your shopping with, the credit card touchpads you use to enter your password and on the money the cashier gives you in change!!! As for the cakes, most would agree they are poorly made, heavily creamed and light on flavor, plus adding potential fingerprints and saliva just keeps me movin past!
As a rule – I wash my hands before handling food at home, and wash any handled food too.
It’s somewhat difficult to wash a cake?
I’d simply prefer that I wouldn’t risk the contents of someone’s nostrils (there I’m being very polite) on foodstuff I can never wash?
The point, I obviously poorly made, was that irrespective of your personal hygiene habits, the potential for public cross contamination is statistically far higher than a highly random and uncommon occurance of a nostril hair or other foreign object in a carrefour cake, washed or unwashed. However, good to know you wash everything. It shouldn’t stop people never buying cakes from Carrefour however.
“Quality Hypermarket” lacking Quality !!!!
Great discussion, all! Closing the thread now.