There’s just some things you can’t get away from and plenty of things you simply don’t want to get away from. Yeah, there’s no Walmarts that I know of here in Korea, but that doesn’t mean you’ve gotten away scot-free from mega-marts. Yeah, they are here too. Aisles upon aisles of fully-stocked…well…everything.
Korea has a few chain mega-marts; Homeplus, E-mart, Lotte Mart to name a few. They are very similar in set-up to western mega-marts. A section of apparel, one for toys, a corner of shiny electronics and appliances, and then the massive portion dedicated to groceries.
One thing I kind of love/hate about the grocery stores here is that they feel over-staffed sometimes. That is, often there will be one employee assigned to one aisle. Every time you fidget with a box of corn flakes or shift a can of corn, they are right behind you adjusting it back to perfection. This makes asking for help super-easy, of course. Though, sometimes, it can be a little annoying when you have a pesky (bored) employee suggestive selling eggs to you because you’re looking at them. The toilet paper aisle has got to be the worst shift.
The mega-marts have TONS of great samplers. Lots of hot food offered by the ladies and gentlemen standing at the end of the aisles. Great way to keep your appetite at bay while shopping. Besides, don’t they say never to shop when you’re hungry?
All of these mega-marts have home delivery service, which, as with any other delivery service here in Korea, is super-speedy, and really top-notch. They all offer point cards as well (but you will need your alien registration number handy to register if you’re not Korean).
Daegu has 9 Homeplus stores and 7 in Gyungbuk (Pohang, Andong, Gyongju, etc.). There are 7 Emarts in Daegu with and additional 9 locations scattered throughout Gyungbuk province.
Daegu is also home to a Costco. If you have a membership back home, you can use that here as well. There is only one Costco in Daegu and is located new Exco Convention Center, on the northern part of town.
Don’t feel guilty about going to Homeplus or any of the other mega-marts. After all, wasn’t Walmart kind of a guilty pleasure back home anyway? When in need of your comfort foods and imported name brands, hail a cab and get yourself to a close mega-mart. Stock up on Rice Krispie Treats and Slim Jims and you’ll be a happy camper!