Although from living in a foreign country to learn the language and culture, etc …, notably involves eating “local”, there comes a point where we want to regain some of its roots! Moreover, some products use very common among us (like deodorant) are absent from most Chinese supermarkets … More broadly, I heard multiple locations Carrefour and Auchan supermarkets in Shanghai and I was curious to see what they look like and what we can find.
I have so far tested one Auchan supermarket (very large), 1 medium sized Carrefour and Carrefour said THE “expats” (the Gubei).
Several things stand out:
there has been virtually no Western (1 in 1000 Chinese?).
These are huge structures! Supermarkets are as big as the French industrial area where we would find a hyper, a Kiabi a decathlon, etc … except that all space is occupied by the hyper that sells everything. The Auchan and Carrefour Gubei are each on two floors huge (top floor: accessories, appliances, etc. … / downstairs food, fresh products, maintenance, …).
the orderly arrangement of the rays surprised by its lack of logic or at least its logic very different from ours. Eg cleaning products are not side brushes / sponges, they are one floor below near fresh!
The wipes of detergent does not yet exist in China even Carrefour said “the expat” Gubei. Fortunately, however, there can buy paper towels which is impossible to find in supermarket.
Unlike France, prices are not necessarily cheaper hyper. Small supermarkets in the area are often cheaper on power even if the advantage of hyper resume accessories … This finding may be biased by the fact that we live in a neighborhood “cheap.”
Overall, there is little Western products apart from those already found in the supermarket. Appointment at Carrefour Gubei if you want Barillas, Panzani, deodorant or cosmetic Western brands, more choices of dairy (but very limited), French cheese, wine …
In general, it seems that the Chinese prefer Carrefour Auchan. My market research is however limited to the opinion of three taxi drivers all very angry against Auchan they deem too expensive and not good enough …