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TSC vs. Lulu vs. Carrefour

May 22, 2007

The Sultan Center: We drop anywhere from KD50-100 there a week and when we get home and put our grocery bags on the kitchen counter, we say, “What the hell did we buy for KD70?!”

Lulu Hypermarket: We spend there, on average, KD30/week and we come home thinking, “Wow, we got a lot of stuff for KD28.”

Carrefour
: I just spent KD28.100 there on its grand opening and I was AMAZED at how much stuff I got. Not just food, but a ton of cleaning products, toiletries for the whole family, two pairs of pants and a cookbook (hardcover).

So, goodbye TSC and Lulu. I’ll still be seeing you occasionally, TSC. I depend on you for my Gold Medal Unbleached Better For Bread Machine flour. It’s the best flour for making dough for pizza and bread. I’ll also be seeing you for DelMonte skinned plum tomatoes. They’re not great, but certainly better than Jolly Green Giant. And Lulu, I’m sorry but our love affair is over. It was brief but I thoroughly enjoyed you while it lasted. (Minus the high concentration of body odor in one place.)

More on Carrefour: It’s MASSIVE. Impressive. I never thought I’d see a place like Carrefour in Kuwait when I came here nearly ten years ago. They have everything. The prices on their brand named products are incredibly cheap. I did a load of laundry a few minutes ago, using REAL detergent and fabric softener, not the crappy Tide or Ariel made in Saudi Arabia with no apparent quality control.

I bought four Carrefour grocery bags (200fils each) to cut down on the plastic bags, something I suggested Sultan Center do. If they were smart, they could offer the same type of durable reusable  grocery bags, and use the revenues to pay for covered parking.

When I was done shopping, I went to my car which was parked in the underground parking lot and my car was actually pleasant, not scorching hot like it usually gets sitting under the blazing sun.

Some bad marks about Carrefour: The bakery is tiny! I thought it would be much bigger than it is. The cakes didn’t look that impressive. (Their baguettes are awesome though.) The deli wasn’t that great because it didn’t have a large quantity of imported cold cuts and not the usual olive varieties and feta selections. I don’t eat meat that much but it looked like they had fresh, good quality meat. For some reason they had those skinned lambs hanging upside down behind the glass near the meat section which totally grosses me and my kids out. It’s just nasty, with the blood dripping on the floor. They don’t have a great variety of flour or canned tomatoes.

Carrefour is located in The Avenues Mall in Shuwaikh, off of 5th Ring Road. See it to believe it.

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22 comments

  1. now i wanna go see it!


  2. u have no idea how threating carrefour is to TSC, and as u mentioned they lose tones of customers … i guess they’ll have to do something about it … coz mall or kuwait or 360 is coming up with another hypermarket

    http://www.deera-chat.com
    the first kuwaiti podcast, listen to us


  3. Isn’t choice a wonderful thing? Just knowing there are option . . . and, as you say, some things are available at one that aren’t available at the other. Carrefour always has a great selection of French cheeses 🙂 and useful odds and ends in the non-food area, too. I always liked poking around in the LuLu baking section – sometimes they have the most amazing things!

    But I also like my local co-op. It doesn’t look like much, but when I need skim milk, it always has it. And most of the basics . . . and a Rifai roastery. How can that be bad?


  4. (Minus the high concentration of body odor in one place.) can u explain what u meen?


  5. I never went to Lulu hypermarket and right now I shop at TSC. I have visited Carrfour in Dubai though and I know its cheap and massive. Atlest now when u have a choice u know where to go for certain stuff. Competition is great, it makes us (the customers) in control 🙂


  6. Baroque – Yes, you must see it! 🙂

    Deera Chat Family – Carrefour plans on opening several branches in Kuwait so I’m sure the owners of Sultan Center are just a tad bit concerned? I mean, if you sell rotten food at high prices, you’re bound to lose customers no matter what.

    Intlxpatr – I think I was too harsh on Lulu in my post. They have a great variety of cat food which Carrefour does not. I actually think Lulu has better frozen food too. But yes, I’m all about choices. P.S. You need an easier nickname! 🙂

    Aboora – What do you think it means? Every time I went to Lulu, I had to hold my breath a few times because most of the clients didn’t have deoderant on and were sweating very badly.

    Pinkjawbreaker – Yes, absolutely. It’s nice to have several different choices. And I’m all for competition to drive prices down.


  7. honey, atleast they have that natural thing. but what our guys do? no bath only expensive pefrumes. covering shit with bulgari or ck. they work hard they sweat hard.


  8. I was actually waiting for this post from you. I really feel like checking it out more than ever now, thanks.

    bye bye TSC.


  9. pearls – They have a baby shower gel/shampoo (Carrefour brand I think) that I bought and my kids love the smell of it. Let me know what you think of the place.


  10. I fell we must all support The Sultan Center Becouse they have more service and it’s a kuwaitien company, and any think you want and you didn’t found in kuwait you Can go to Just Ask in side the Sultan Center and for your product and they will search the world to give to you in the same cost.


  11. […] A Kitchen in Kuwait talks about Carrefour coming to Kuwait and compares it to the other hypermarkets in the country. […]


  12. nothing like TSC


  13. I think TSC will prevail with a lil’ help from big brother, Agility. TSC will soon have to think going hypermarket at one or two new locations in the country in order to cull this new competition. Wonder what the landscape will look like once Geant and Walmart both jump into the fray?


  14. Jaber – I’m not giving up on Sultan Center and will be forever grateful to them for providing us with products that we know and love. I tried the Just Ask service but when they quoted me with the price, I thought it was outlandish. But yes, it’s always a good thing to support Kuwaiti companies and products.

    soksok – True. It’s unique.

    shubra – TSC is already a hypermarket if you think about it. Walmart? In Kuwait? I don’t see that happening but who knows.


  15. Aboora – I’ll take cologne over sweating out spices any day. And by the way, “our men”? 🙂


  16. I think Lulu is gonna rule over TSC and Carrefour, since the same pattern is repeated in Dubai and Qatar. I dont know how or why, but Lulu gets into the heart of customers by some sort of attractions. Know what? they have a mango festival coming up starting next week…Ever heard that “Mango Festival”…
    TSC is good, Carrefour is internationaly acclaimed, but they will have to sweat a bit to catch up, i beleive.


  17. Can i ask the exact location of carrefour?coz i plan to see it..they says it’s chep:-) thanks


  18. Hi – I lived in Kuwait for 5 years and have just recently moved to Qatar. I noticed you mentioned buying ‘real’ detergent and fabric softener at Carrefour. I too am looking to move away from the Made in Saudi Arabia ARIEL. Would you be able to tell me what brand and type of detergent and fabric softener you found at Carrefour so that I look out for it here?


  19. Carrefour in Dubai is a poor cousin of Carrefour’s at the Avenues. So don’t have any pre-conceived notions about Carrefour Kuwait if you haven’t been already. It sure as hell isn’t cheaper compared to TSC.


  20. Ruth – Hi. We’re considering making the move to Qatar as well, so I hope to hear good things about the country. As far as detergents go: to be honest, the Carrefour and No. 1 brands are just average – they clean well but they don’t leave a fresh scent on your clothes, actually no scent at all. I have a top loading machine so maybe that’s it? Anyway, I’ve tried every detergent out there and the best is Persil. It’s made in Saudi Arabia but it’s by Henkel (a German company) and I find that it gets our clothes really clean. Again, it doesn’t leave that much scent on the clothes so I usually mix in some Tide (orange power) for a nice smell. Lulu Hypermarket has some original Ariel from the UK. Maybe that would work well. Also, I use liquid detergents from the States. They’re not too badly priced and are available everywhere these days. (Purex, Arm & Hammer, etc.) I’ve tried just about every fabric softener out there as well and the best is the American Downey (the one that will cost you around KD2.500 for a small bottle). The Downey/Fresh Scent (Saudi Arabia) is good as well. The Carrefour brand fabric softener is great and makes your clothes very soft but doesn’t leave much scent. Sorry for the wordy reply.

    Bridgette – I have to disagree with you on that one. I find Carrefour cheaper than TSC on a lot of products, and the frozen foods at Lulu are a lot cheaper than TSC’s frozen stuff. For American products, I still go to TSC. I just bought some chili powder and Worcestershire sauce there yesterday – two products I was unable to find at the other hypermarkets.


  21. Its nice to see comments on shopping centres in Kuwait. I am living in UAE and having great shopping experience. I think UAE is best in GCC for this and getting compettitive prices and products in every outlets. The offers and promotions will be different, but the money will be same if we shop any of them. And about the own brand products like No.1 or Lulu, we can see the manufacturer name and country of origin on the pack, will be same, but cheaper than the branded products. Sometimes the branded products also made from the same company. In UAE KRAFT, KNORR, NOOR and many mayonnaise brands are coming from same company IFFCO, we can understand, the extra amount goes to the Brand (Who need it???)


  22. I accidentally (but gratefully) came across this thread and many of my grocery shopping questions have now been answered. I’m hoping someone here can answer another question about finding American products. My family will be moving to Kuwait this fall and I’m a milk-a-holic. How does cow’s milk you get in these supermarkets compare to the USA’s? And is there chocolate milk?



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