There is one place in America that every American knows about. This place is none other than Walmart. It is a place where you can buy pretty much anything and everything you need to survive.
From house furnishings to food, Walmart has what you need all at one convenient stop. Think what you may about Walmart, but they do make life a lot easier and provide goods at a lower cost than other stores.
In South Korea there is no Walmart. What are we to do?!?!?! The world is ending!… Korea may not have a Walmart, but they do have massive department stores. Over the last couple of weeks living in Korea, our travels have taken us to shopping places all over Seoul. I will mainly talk about the three Korean department stores because Korean Costco and American Costco are very similar.
Hyundai Department Store
The Hyundai Department store in Sinchon is a giant store consisting of 11 floors of shopping. From food to clothes, the Hyundai building provides designer items at designer prices. It is the most upscale out of the four stores. It is a very fancy building and is really clean. I would compare it to a Macy’s back in the U.S. if Macy’s decided to sell groceries.
The Grand Mart Store in Sinchon is another place to buy things for your home and for your kitchen. They are not as big as the Hyundai Store, but carry just enough things at a lower price. We have mainly bought our housewares and groceries from Grand Mart. It is only about 3 blocks from our apartment, so it is very convenient. This is where we buy our water from and emergency food (food that we need in a pinch or because we do not want to travel to HomePlus).
This place really reminds me of Walmart the most. It has a huge selection of groceries, housewares, electronics, healthcare supplies, and clothes. It really has everything you need to survive. If you had only one choice to shop, I would choose Homeplus. Their prices are lower than the Hyundai Store and Grand Mart. Homeplus is further from our apartment than Hyundai and Grand Mart. The subway is about a two minute walk from our apartment. We take subway Line 2 and get off after two stops. After about 3 minutes of walking, we are at Homeplus. We have preferred Homeplus because of the low cost and they a better and wider selection that the other stores.
It is a little piece of America in Korea! They mostly carry everything a regular Costco in the U.S. would have. They have clothes, food, housewares, and anything else you can think of. They even serve pizza and hotdogs! The hotdogs tasted just like the hotdogs back in the U.S. (not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing haha). They even carried one thing that no other store we had been carried; cheese Cheetos! Korean stores carry Cheetos, which are different than American Cheetos. Korean Cheetos come in two flavors: BBQ and Garlic & Pepper. No cheese or hot Cheetos. But lucky for us, we were able to find them at Costco! Thank you Costco! Costco here has multiple floors. The ground level floor is all of the housewares and cleaning supplies, the next floor is all of the outdoor furniture and food items, and the last floor is parking.
(I do not take any credit except for the awesome Costco photo. I got them off of Google Images).