Author Topic: Shopping  (Read 4903 times)

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arkzak

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2011, 11:21:06 AM »
Shopping in Denmark: many shops open at 10am, which I found strange because offices open at 8am. In most places shops close on Saturday afternoons and stay closed until Monday.

Nearly everyone uses either cash or a debit card called a Dankort. You will never see anyone pay for anything by cheque; in fact I don't know if banks still issue them. Outside of tourist areas, it's unusual to see anyone pay with a credit card (although most Dankorts function as a Visa card too). For example you'd almost never use your MasterCard to pay for groceries at the supermarket.

You unload and bag your own groceries; there are no baggers. Most people bring plastic or canvas bags from home, because you have to pay for plastic shopping bags.  You can buy beer and wine in regular supermarkets, but you have to go to another section to buy spirits, cigarettes and lottery tickets.

Oh, and you also have to pay for your shopping trolley. You get the coin back when you return the trolley, so everyone returns them  :)

tallblondie

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #46 on: October 30, 2011, 08:23:07 PM »
Weighing in for Australia (or at least regional east coast)...

We have what are termed shopping centres (will be also have included in its name Mall, Plaza, or even Hyperdome, depending on how big it is) and shopping districts (smaller centres, malls and arcades in one central area, split only by road or paved pedestrian areas).

Within those we have our standard national chain stores (Woolworths, Coles, IGA, Aldi, Target, Big W, K-Mart etc), franchises (Wendys, Donut King, Jeans West, etc), smaller independants (homewares, giftware), chain jewellery stores (not unusual for there to be up to 5 in any one centre), cafes, dollar stores and even mobile car wash services.

Opening hours and seven day trading are set by the centre (where I am: grocery stores 7am - 10pm, specialty stores 8am - 5.30pm, slightly shorter days for Sat/Sun).

Our customer service culture is quite good - Aussies are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, without being overbearing or annoying. Younger sales assistants are often known for greeting customers with variations of 'Are you right?', which most customer service veterans cringe at.

We don't have 'baggers' in grocery stores (the checkout operator bags products as they scan them), we generally use fabric and other recycled 'green' bags for our shopping, and more and more stores charge extra for a plastic bag (most of which are manufactured to be biodegradable).

Most grocery trolleys have no charge attached to them, but some outlets require one to use a gold coin ($2) to unlock the trolley and returns the coin only after the trolley is returned to its bay.

Most of the grocery chains have some sort of rewards card that is scanned with a purchase. Woolworths and Big W, for instance, loads a card with petrol discounts; IGA donates a percentage of one's purchases to one's chosen charity, as well as having 'cardholder-only' specials; Coles and Target are associated with Flybuys where purchases equals points to be redeemed on everything from household goods to flights.

We have 'shop-a-dockets' - on the back of every docket from a national chain store will be coupons to be redeemed locally.

Alcohol isn't available in supermarkets (grocery stores), but sold in separate chain operated and staffed liquor stores (i.e. Woolworths will have a supermarket and a liquor store side-by-side, combined in the same structure, but very much separate).

Another thing we have that is very different to everywhere else, is how tobacco products are sold. They are not displayed, just kept in a concealed and locked area behind the sales counter with small typed labels - no pics or advertising.

Edited to add:

We also have huge homewares complexes  - usually close by bigger shopping centres - and include everything (especially chains and superstores specialising in particular items) from furniture to bedding, electrical, whitegoods, car products, office products, outdoor products (lawn and garden), home entertainment etc. For instance, where I am we have a place called 'Homebase' (directly opposite our biggest shopping centre) - and it's massive - http://parkbeachhomebase.com.au/
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 03:03:42 AM by tallblondie »

Ereine

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2011, 01:31:55 AM »
Another thing we have that is very different to everywhere else, is how tobacco products are sold. They are not displayed, just kept in a concealed and locked area behind the sales counter with small typed labels - no pics or advertising.

That's apparently how it's going to be done in Finland soon.

Shopping has been changing a lot in recent years here. Stores are allowed to be open longer now, it used to be that they could only be open on Sundays if there was a national holiday on the Saturday or something like, then it was allowed in small stores, the around Christmas and now I think that there's very few rules. Most grocery stores will open on Sundays but it might be from 12 to 6, during the week it's usually 7 or 8 to 9 and on Saturday most grocery stores close at 6. Department stores have similar hours but smaller specialty stores don't. I've had trouble getting sewing supplies recently after one store closed, now the two stores that have a decent selection close at 5 and the one that closes at 7 doesn't usually have what I need. They will be open on Saturdays but small stores tend to close at 2 or 3 and are rarely open on Sundays.

You can buy mild alcohol (beer, cider) in grocery stores, but only between 9 am and 9 pm, anything stronger you have to buy from state liqueur stores that are never open on Sundays. You can however gamble at every grocery store, there will be a few slot machines by the door (owned by the state, as is the betting system). This year they forbid them from people under 18, before that the age limit was 15. 

There are three national department stores, one of which is slightly fancier and only in the largest towns. The other two are everywhere, as are other stores owned by them (mostly groceries). I think that the two chains (called K and S. The K chain names their stores with different number of K's depending on how large the store is, which has led to confusion among American tourists) account for maybe 90 % of grocery trade, which many people don't like as it doesn't make for good competition. There are a few smaller chains and German Lidl has become rather popular. There are other international chains as well, but mostly in fashion, there are many Swedish chains here for example. We have MacDonald's, Subway and Pizza Hut but I don't think that we have other American chains here, though I heard that Starbucks is coming next year.

I usually get good customer service but to someone used to the American way it might seem awful. Finns don't tend to be very cheerful :) 

lilfox

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2011, 02:38:04 PM »
Another thing we have that is very different to everywhere else, is how tobacco products are sold. They are not displayed, just kept in a concealed and locked area behind the sales counter with small typed labels - no pics or advertising.

That's apparently how it's going to be done in Finland soon.

Others in the US probably know this better, but the stores in US that sell cigarettes (mini-marts at gas stations, grocery stores) keep them behind the counter so you ask the cashier for a pack of this or that.  No advertising either, for the most part.  Legal smoking age is 18, so this helps with carding I suppose.  Though drinking age is 21 and you can just wander the aisles to choose your beer or wine (or liquor, which is sold in grocery stores in some states or only in specialty stores in other states).

My question:  in the US, we add tax to the price of things at checkout, and the percentage of tax varies by state.  So the price tag is never exactly what you pay, your cost is always higher*.  I find that annoying and I'm used to it.  How do foreign visitors deal with not knowing the final cost until you get to the register?

* Except for a few states with no sales tax!

Also, there are always, always sales going on.  It's a big tactic to bring in business.  Some store chains are essentially always having sales, what with coupons, loyalty card discounts, and clearances - if you're mindful of this you will never pay "full price" (although the advertised original retail price might never have applied in the first place).  Is this common in other countries?

Wonderflonium

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2011, 02:41:43 PM »
Also, there are always, always sales going on.  It's a big tactic to bring in business.  Some store chains are essentially always having sales, what with coupons, loyalty card discounts, and clearances - if you're mindful of this you will never pay "full price" (although the advertised original retail price might never have applied in the first place).  Is this common in other countries?

For example, I don't know if it's actually possible to pay the "original retail price" on the tag at Kohl's.
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lilfox

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #50 on: November 01, 2011, 03:55:44 PM »
Also, there are always, always sales going on.  It's a big tactic to bring in business.  Some store chains are essentially always having sales, what with coupons, loyalty card discounts, and clearances - if you're mindful of this you will never pay "full price" (although the advertised original retail price might never have applied in the first place).  Is this common in other countries?

For example, I don't know if it's actually possible to pay the "original retail price" on the tag at Kohl's.

Ha ha!   :)  Yes, Kohl's is exactly what I had in mind, though I know other stores make a habit of this as well.

Larrabee

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #51 on: November 01, 2011, 04:07:22 PM »
Another thing we have that is very different to everywhere else, is how tobacco products are sold. They are not displayed, just kept in a concealed and locked area behind the sales counter with small typed labels - no pics or advertising.

That's apparently how it's going to be done in Finland soon.

Others in the US probably know this better, but the stores in US that sell cigarettes (mini-marts at gas stations, grocery stores) keep them behind the counter so you ask the cashier for a pack of this or that.  No advertising either, for the most part.  Legal smoking age is 18, so this helps with carding I suppose.  Though drinking age is 21 and you can just wander the aisles to choose your beer or wine (or liquor, which is sold in grocery stores in some states or only in specialty stores in other states).

My question:  in the US, we add tax to the price of things at checkout, and the percentage of tax varies by state.  So the price tag is never exactly what you pay, your cost is always higher*.  I find that annoying and I'm used to it.  How do foreign visitors deal with not knowing the final cost until you get to the register?

* Except for a few states with no sales tax!

Also, there are always, always sales going on.  It's a big tactic to bring in business.  Some store chains are essentially always having sales, what with coupons, loyalty card discounts, and clearances - if you're mindful of this you will never pay "full price" (although the advertised original retail price might never have applied in the first place).  Is this common in other countries?

To the first bolded, we struggle!  I lived in the US for a while and I never got used to it, I just got a little bit better at guessing and stopped paying with cash as much.  When I visited the US a child it bothered me more than it should have that all prices ended up as odd irregular numbers, like 11.23 rather than 9.99, I thought Americans must have hundreds of coins from all the change!

To the second bolded, there are rules here in the UK about sales.  If you list an 'original price' then the item must have been sold at that price for a certain amount of time in a certain percentage of the store's locations.  There are shops that play the 'continuous sale' trick an do the bare minimum to make it permissable, the most famous is probably furniture store DFS which has TV adverts every week stating that the sale 'MUST END SUNDAY!'.

Some supermarkets keep items on special offer almost permanently by inflating the 'original price' artificially.  For example packets of chicken are 2 for 6, this looks reasonable when one pack is 4.50 but in reality the single pack should only cost around 3 so they aren't losing out by selling it at the 'special' price.


JoW

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #52 on: November 03, 2011, 11:04:22 PM »
....  When I visited the US a child it bothered me more than it should have that all prices ended up as odd irregular numbers, like 11.23 rather than 9.99, I thought Americans must have hundreds of coins from all the change!....
Some of it is a psychological trick.  $2.99 feel a lot cheaper than $3. 

I don't know about other people, but I spend my coins.  I keep enough at home to run the over-size washing machine at the coin laundry so I can wash my elderly cat's bed when she wets it.  And I keep some in my car so I can make a small purchase.  But the rest, I carry them with me and spend them.