April 6, 2016
When I came to CDO for the first time in July 2009 there were basically 3 supermarkets here and a few small neighborhood type groceries. There are now 9 supermarkets and a couple more grocery stores.
I complained last week that my favorite supermarket was letting a bunch of venders block the street in front of their store. We were there today and they helped it some. They are no longer in the street (I am pretty sure the street is actually part of the property of the supermarket) but they moved to the parking lot of the supermarket. There was not much parking to start with and the venders take up about 1/3 of them now. Since only a small percent of Filipinos own a 4 wheel vehicle it is not too bad. The supermarket was pretty busy and there was still enough parking but half of the available spots are hard to back into now because of the venders.
My favorite supermarket is called Pure Gold. They take VERY GOOD care of me. I read that the average purchase there is about 250 pesos. Our average bill is between 20,000 and 25,000 pesos. Today it was over 27,000.
When they see me pushing a cart to the checkout lane they bring a chair for me to sit on. I sit while they unload the carts (we average about 6 full size shopping carts per trip there) and then bag everything up.
All the supermarkets have a strange policy that I cannot figure out. We buy a lot of things by the full case. We just talk to a stock boy and he gets the cases we need and takes them to the front near the checkout lines. We never touch the cases yet the checkout girls open EVERY ONE of them even if we have more than one case of the same thing. They then tape them shut again.
Another thing I cannot figure out is why they do not have a roll of tape at every checkout lane. Two or three lanes share the same roll. They never have more than a few plastic bags at each lane. They use a plastic twine to tie boxes shut if you want your groceries boxed instead of bagged. Guess what, they only have one roll of the twine for about 4 lanes.
There is a city ordinance that says the store is supposed to charge 1 peso for each grocery bag used. Pure Gold only charges 1 peso total, no matter how many bags they use for our groceries. We could have everything boxed then sell the cardboard after we get home but Les wants the bags to use for our customers.
None of the supermarkets here have everything we need. We need to go to at least 3 of them to find everything we need at a reasonable price. Rustons is an England based chain that has the most American and European food but they are very expensive on everything they sell. SM is owned by the richest man in the Philippines and we used to buy almost everything there but Pure Gold is slightly cheaper over all. Plus Pure Gold treats me like royalty. Gaisano is probably the absolute cheapest store in the country but they are not modern stores (they do not use bar codes scanners,) the stores are overcrowded and aisles are very narrow. I HATE going to Gaisanos.