Another one
Letters of the week

ParknShop & Taste & Great & Fusion & International

I see that City Super is 15 years old.  Back when they started (the first branch was in Times Square), there were the two big supermarket chains (Park’n’Shop and Wellcome), a couple of branches of Olivers, and the food hall in Hong Kong Seibu.

Now Park’nShop have a whole range of sub-brands.  Great in Pacific Place is a one-off (in the space that was previously the Seibu food hall in Pacific Place, and with prices to match). The original Taste was in Kowloon Tong, but there are now several more around Hong Kong, and they offer a much bigger selection than the average PnS supermarket.

I’m not sure that I understand the difference between Taste and Fusion, but maybe the former is more aimed at foreigners and the latter more at locals.  Or perhaps it’s just that the Fusion stores are smaller?  Too confusing, lah.

Then we come to International.  This seems to be basically a normal ParknShop with more imported products, and annoying shelf labels proudly reminding you that those Italian tinned tomatoes come from Waitrose in the UK.  Er, thanks.

There’s also Gourmet.  What’s that, then?

Meanwhile, the Dairy Farm group (Wellcome) now have Marketplace by Jasons for some of its more upmarket locations, and a couple of branches of ThreeSixty (with an emphasis on expensive organic stuff) and just the one Olivers.  Thirty years old, apparently.

Which is all very well, but who can afford to pay the prices in Olivers, ThreeSixty, Great, and CitySuper?  Very ordinary products are sold at double or triple the price you would pay in a UK supermarket.  I can understand high prices for premium products, but not everyday stuff being sold at ridiculous prices.

But at least we do have more choice.


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There is a bit of sleight of hand at work here, OG old chap. You are talking about how pricey the niche supermarkets are in Hong Kong, but then you compare their prices to UK prices, not to Hong Kong's high street chains. In fact, many products sold in Hong Kong, "even" in PnS and Wellcome, are far more expensive than in Blighty. It is not just Three Sixty, Gourmet and ShittySuper who are more expensive.

In (another) fact, many common products in Gourmet (which I used till their Lee Gardens store closed last month) are priced the same as or very close to the bigger chains. I am not saying that you could never pay more for the same item, or that there could never be a big difference (as always, caveat emptor), but the higher shppping bill you might have at Gourmet is more likely because you are tempted to splash out on come lovely radioactive Japanese spinach instead of the usual heavy-metal-laden Chinese variety.


Remember PK shop, Watsons, Fusion Taste, International, are all owned by our favourite HK Billionaire. Convieniently, he also owns UK Superdrug, and the worlds largest container shipping firm Hutchinson Whampoa.So all those empty containers sitting in UK and USA, with goods that he shipped from China, can be filled up with wholesale purchased items from those desparate economies (desparate for further business, and a piece of the china market) at low prices. Shipped back to Asia on his container ships that would otherwise be relatively empty, and sold as luxury imports in Asia. So the shipping is a small negligable part in the pricing, its all about profit, and seeing what he can get away with. I appreciate the choice, that I can buy these goods in HK, but damn, that man is smart/cunning.

Lee kong

This is a nice issue.....

By the way,
are you guys also aware of issues, regarding in Hong Kong lifestyle, economy growth...
I'm afraid of what will be the next thing will happen. I live in Hong kong, and I love my country where I have first open my eyes. I have also read in a website issues regarding Three sixty. hope that you guys, can also check it out!

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