Over 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.
There 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.
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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.