Sunday, October 07, 2007


Unless I'm very mistaken, I'll be taking my first-ever trip into the maw of a Korean Costco much later today. I'm contemplating whether it's worth becoming a Costco member at this late juncture, seeing as I'll be out of here by the end of next April.

I have no idea how Costco is faring in Korea. My friend JW has said that some Koreans don't "get" Costco, because while the store is cheap, it's all about buying many items in bulk-- a habit more appropriate for Korean restaurants than households. But Costco has been here for a few years now, and it's certainly done better than the French Carrefour, which struck camp and left the peninsula (were the Carrefours taken over by Homever or E-Mart or somebody?). I was sad to hear this news, never having set foot in a Korean Carrefour before.

(Trivia: "carrefour" means "crossroads." In France, it's easily one of the largest chain stores in the country. The basic setup is exactly like what you'd see at an E-Mart or one of the larger Wal-Marts: it sells everything from groceries to items normally found in a department store.)



Anonymous said...

From what I have seen Costco is doing quite well here. Some Koreans might not get the buying in bulk thing, but others seem to be catching on just fine. I don't think it's quite the same as it is in the States, but every time I go to Costco I am amazed at how much food some people buy. It's just so easy to get sucked in by all the goodies.

And yes, Carrefour was taken over by Homever. A shame, because I liked the place, but the new Homevers have more or less the same selection. I go there for beer (imports) sometimes.

Have fun at Costco!

Unknown said...

I've never been to a Costco, Carrefour or Homever (I don't even know where the nearest one would be). And in all my years here, I've only been to Emart maybe three or four times, mainly because I don't like crowds or crowded places - and, I'm fortunate enough to have a wife that understands this. Besides, we can get almost everything we need on base, thank goodness.

Anonymous said...

If you get a membership, it will be honored at any Costco in the world for a year.

I've noticed that the Costco here in Daejeon is stocking more and more Korean and Asian foods over those from North America. No more green beans bites the big one. Also, Costco buys in assorted bulk themselves to pass on the savings to the customers. One day they might have something you love and the next day it may be replaced by something you loathe.

Anonymous said...

John speaks the truth--Costco in Yangjae used to have grapefruit juice (real grapefruit juice, not the pink kind), but they haven't stocked it in ages, presumably because Koreans don't like it.

So, did you make it? How was it?