Carrefour: Bali’s new place to shop

carrefour baliOver the past 40 years, the Carrefour group has grown to become one of the world’s leading distribution groups. The world’s second-largest retailer and the largest in Europe, the group currently operates four main grocery store formats: hypermarkets, supermarkets, hard discount and convenience stores. The Carrefour group currently has over 12,500 stores, either company-operated or franchises. With over 456,000 employees worldwide, 97.24 billion Euros in sales in 2006 and a market cap of 32.4 billion Euros, Carrefour is doing okay. Bali’s latest retailers is about as far as you can get from a local handicraft store. This morning I took an excited Ika and Jevon to check out the new Carrefour store in Kuta. Technically the store is located in Denpasar, being on the eastern side of the Sunset Rd, across the street from Buddha’s Belly, up from the roundabout at Simpang Siur.

Open from 9am-10pm daily, Carrefour offers a whole new shopping experience for Bali residents. The building is large with 4 floors containing small shops and a massive supermarket on the top floor. Ika said “Wow, its nice!” after seeing the size of the supermarket and how clean it is. Bali already has many supermarkets including Alfa in Denpasar, Macro in Sanur, Bintang in Seminyak and many others. The problem with all these places is the buildings are old and decaying, usually there is no AC, aisles are narrow and the place is loaded with stuff. In contrast Carrefour is new, modern, bright, AC with with spacious aisles. Its a way more pleasant shopping experience.

carrefour baliThere is a nursery, an arcade area called Amazone, hair salons and Periplus bookstore. You can buy a new motorbike, interior accessories and pre-cooked food, including a delicious selection of whole bbq chickens for around 50,000rp. I loved the fresh fish section, which feature a whole tuna fish, probably 4 ft long, with a chunk cut out of it. Next to it was a display of fresh fish and cut fish steaks. Thick fresh tuna steaks were 5,630rp per 100gr, whole ekor kuning were 2,499rp per 100gr and whole kerapu were 1,880 per 100gr. One part of the processed food section featured items organized by country, with Japan, Korea, China, Australia, Thailand and others. We picked up a packet of miso soup (3 soups inside) for 20,000rp.

Parking was 1,000rp for motorbikes and one can tell the staff are still getting used to their new job. Carrefour will definitely take a chunk out of Bintang and the other places. Jevon wants to go back just to ride in the shopping carts for kids.

27 thoughts on “Carrefour: Bali’s new place to shop

  • sjbali

    It was about time, i knew Carrefour from Jakarta and Medan already.

    Not only for “Bule” who live here, but for the Locals its a whole different shopping experience.

    All Carrefour have the same concept and most likely the same article in the assortment.

    The price range/quality for all day article is very tempting, like cheese, meat, even good wine for much less money….

    The good thing is, carrefour open just 500m away from my home 😀

  • Nick

    sjbali , thanks for your comment. I have yet to do a price evaluation. The best source of pricing in Bali is my sister in law, Ningrum, who is sharp about deals. She’ll give me the low down on how Carrefour compares. Most locals like Alpha in Denpasar. Ika prefers to ride to Denpasar for groceries rather than shop at Bintang.

  • Kore Peterson

    Carrefour is a nice western feeling shopping experience. It will be interesting to see what impact Carrefour has on the local economy. My guess is it will be very similar to a Walmart in the US and will cause some of the local vendors to close. Not to mention the profits they make do not stay in Indonesia but get sent back to Europe.

  • Nick

    Not everyone is happy about Carrefours new store. One commenter reckons its will hurt the ‘mom & pop’ shops just like back in Chicago when he was a kid. Listen, Balinese mom & pop nick-nack shops do not serve westerners (tourists & expats), they serve locals.

    So local shoppers can now go to a place where they have a choice of high quality goods for a lower price…what a disaster!

    There is a reason that the local economy is hurting and its not just tourist numbers. When I go to local shops I often get short changed. This happens in ‘mom & pop’ internet cafes, convenience stores (including the one around the corner from my house). People are sick of this. People don’t like when they buy a new Stavol or other appliance, get it home and find it doesn’t work, only to be told “Sorry we don’t give refunds.” Carrefour has a sign at every check out asking customers to keep their receipt in case of refunds.

    Here in Bali they have not grasped one important aspect of business…the customer is the most important person. When I get shortchanged and told “Sorry I don’t have change.” the reason given is that the boss will be angry if the till is short. If I complain about the staff to the manager he will say, “I don’t want to upset him.” Their mentality is there are limitless customers, a few staff and one boss. Importance is therefore define by numbers, the customer being expendable. That may sound extreme, but there are cases of people actually being beaten up by the staff after asking for their change!

    Anyway my point is, the Balinese and their ways of doing business are on a crash course with the 21st Century. They can either wake up and smell the roses, or sit there and watch the action.

  • Rex

    When we were in Bali for my dental treatment at Dr Rudy’s clinic, Mall Bali Galleria, we had a look at an upmarket dept store in the same area.

    The aircon was so cold that the sensibly dressed [for Bali] customers were shivering, presumably so that the the male staff could be relatively comfortable in their suits and ties. Apart from the fact that electricity has to be imported into Bali and is both expensive and increasingly likely to be in short supply, why do some people think it necessary to act illogically in order to be seen as professional and businesslike?

    Whilst it’s certainly good that Carrefour is airconditioned, I hope that the management use their collective common sense in this respect.

  • Eddie Tansil

    Yep at long last some professionalism will come to supermarket retail in Bali, Carrefour can lead the way.

    Tragia in Nusa Dua has already learnt the lesson of stiffing the locals for as long as they can remember..

    Galeria is Hardly an icebox as you describe..Maybe it was the effect of your dental anesthsia.
    As for Bali having to import electricity
    Well yes they do … from Java. Golly gosh another part of Indonesia.

    The Balinese had the chance to have their own power generation in the form of a Geothermal station but turned it down somewhat illogical to those with half a brain but there you go this is Bali after all.

  • sjbali

    okey… i went to Carrefour last evening… after 30min only to park the motorbike and made my way up the 3th floor… finally HOME.. haha

    Soon i realized the carrefour is the same as Jakarta or elsewhere in Indonesia, just like an average supermarket should be.

    Soon i checked out the wine, meat, cheese and got a big smile on my face.

    Finally you can get in Bali normal things, to quiet normal prices.

    I figured out the most of the people went there for jalan2, which makes the shopping little bit stressful, but i guess if you go in the usual office hours it should be more relaxed.

    About the other supermarkets like Bintang, Alfa etc., i think many people will buy their stuff in carrefour and use the other supermarkets for small things or if they forget something..

    Carrefour Bali still needs to settle down, the staff still isnt organized enough…

    Oh ya i have seen many cracks on the parking decks…hmmmm…

  • wayan bule

    locals don’t need cheese or wine. carrefour is fine for people that go shopping weekly for groceries with their cars (bules) but most balinese buy fresh goods daily from the pasar so it hardly affects the ‘mom & pop’ warungs…!

  • Bruce Pohlmann

    Obviously your experience is much different from mine, or my neighbors, but seeing that you live an expat oriented lifestyle in the tourist area that’s not really hard to understand. You might actually try seeing what life is like for those folks who are not involved in the tourist-oriented part of Bali. I feel very sorry for those expats who didn’t get back their 10 cents in change. And people beaten up? Where did this happen?

    Carrefour is another of the many carpetbagging businesses that have sprung up in Bali over the past 10 years.

  • sjbali

    Hmm.. don’t really understand what you are talking about.

    PT. Carrefour Indonesia is a franchise and have employed some 10.000 Staff ( Indonesian ).

    Ever been to a Carrefour in Jakarta, Medan or even Bali????

    I’ve seen there only a handful Bule’s.

    i don’t believe carrefour would open in Bali because of the few Bule’s here….

  • bryan

    my name is bryan I am a french student in internationnal trade
    I am has an employment on Bali
    Could use me I shall like having tracks to find a job for July august or the other one.

    thanks you ….

  • Cathleen C.

    What is the deal with this “anon” & his snipey comments about a midnight run? Wonder why he would think that someone living in comfort in paradise with a beautiful wife, son, active social life, giver of best barbeques would want to just run away from it all?…When what you have done is what many of us long to do…really run away from it all and live in paradise with a beautiful spouse & child in a low stress enviornment. Beats me as to what he is getting at.

  • Cathleen C.

    Any adult with functioning brain cells is fully aware that baby making activity can and often does result in making a baby, there is no trickery involved, it is a private choice made by two consenting adults. The fact that a smart, beautiful, built, physically fit, young woman from a good family would choose to be Nick’s wife and the mother of their son is the mystery, now that is the only trick, how did he charm her into it all? Obviously you haven’t been to Bali or (if you have you stayed drunk & didn’t experience the real Bali) you would not say that he is “stuck” there, that is like saying someone got “stuck” with winning the lottery, or the Kentucky Derby or graduating at the top of your class. Worry about your own personal life and be grateful that he is willing to share some of his. So, anon, maybe if you work real hard you too could have it ALL!!

  • sjbali

    @ Cathleen… Why you answer him?

    He is fake.. or better; who care about his comments anyway???

    Ignore it/him and save your time for more important things 😉

  • Eddie Tansil

    Living in a shack, renting a motor scooter and eating in roadkill warungs is hardly having it ALL…Hmmm well maybe it is for the traffic island dwellers…

  • anon

    I can’t imagine this site making any money. Maybe $10k a year. Nick probably gets half of that. The temptation must be there to take the kid to the airport at 4am and catch the first plane out.


    I bought a glass table from carrefour for my new office on 16 oct. but delivery and montage totally problem.Now i can not use the table bought from carrefour 2 days ago.please take care of this problem and fixx the wrong montage son as possible
    Other ways i will make this problem is a real problem for carrefour denpasar.
    tank’s advence.
    Jl.By Pass Ngurah Rai 653 Denpasar Bali
    Tel 0361 7444464
    0812 3670805

  • sjbali

    …what have to do with your problem with carrefour/table, shouldn’t you claim directly to them? You should have some kind of warranty dough?!!! Anyway just go there and complain…

  • arkka

    I won’t worry much bout the impact of Carrefour in Bali. True lots of “cheap” stuff but for locals Hindu Carrefour is nothing but like other modern shop that is only targeted to non-Hindu markets. It will only be useful for those city-life-style people who can’t afford to traditional markets. Heck I bet Carrfour would even take their products off the Kumbasari Traditional Market for their non-import shelves. I only go to Carrs for meatloaf, spagetthies, bread, western-u-know-what junks. Yeah like Wal-mart wanna-be, everything is here except for gamestation and daily price cuts. If you really wanna affect local Hindu markets which is the majority in Bali by the way you’ll open up a Carrefour full of babi gulling, lawar, kain putih, kain kuning, all parts needed for Ngaben, all types of Yadnya products banten sajen etc…now then you can speak of a mall that will change the local economy. C’mon man you live in a Hindu world in Bali do you think opening up a Chinatown or Little India town gonna do much change? Think logically.

  • dewi mami

    the management,today is the 2nd time i came to the carefour to complain about my handphone pulse which i purchase yesterday afternoon, Until this evening the xl pulsa not being send to my mobile.this happen to my daughter too, since she forgotten to gone back to the carefour and due to our hectic activities, she never get her pulsa which she already purchased.Please make sure again that this will not happen to other costumer, or you don’t sell pulsa if it is giving you hectic and mobile no. 081933061317, please check again until i wrote this email, i have not received yet the pulsa.appreciated your speedy action.

  • Gail

    Hi Everyone,
    I was wondering if anyone can help ,I’m after a really good haberdashery shop that sells elastic,sequin trims .laces etc any help would be appreciated.

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