Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

The Deli Counter

There are a lot of things one could complain about such as our erratic trains, the crisis in Burma, or the worm. Lately, my number one gripe has been the deli counter.

In a perfect world, a person rocks up to the deli counter and takes a ticket from the ticket machine. Eventually, both visually and audibly your number is called and you are served by the deli person. It’s a simple and efficient system that even our own government successfully uses around the country.

In our world, well at both Safeway and Coles locations in Melbourne anyway, staff refuse to use this remarkably easy to use system. While I understand it seems pointless to have a ticket system in use when there is only 1 person waiting for service, there is a high probability of multiple persons showing up for service after. Without any system or line the deli counter becomes chaotic.

  • People go to the ticket machine and take a ticket but little do they realize the ticket means nothing.
  • First come, first serve then, right? Nope, there’s the oldies and the greedy who think they deserve first serve. It’s not my fault they say, the system let me down.
  • You think one deli person is going to know who is first out of 15 people waiting? I certainly have a hard time telling myself.
  • Seeing as there are loads of people waiting on the honour system, a decisive employee turns on the ticket system creating “The Tickets vs. The I was here firsts”.
  • Finally, you get your turn but be sure you have your order exactly correct, don’t order multiple things or make the deli person go all the way to the fish section as this will only get you dirty looks from other customers.

At one local Safeway, there weren’t tickets in their ticket machine for at least 2 months! Either serve people with a ticket only or lets form some kind of orderly line.

P.S. Why the hell is the exact same chicken breast $3 cheaper a kilo from the deli counter?

Picture via Tshirtstudio

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Christmas is here …

At your closest department stores as well as supermarkets. Cruising through the supermarkets such as Coles, one can find Christmas decorations, chocolates, cookies and various other items for the silly holiday season. Isn’t it a wee bit early to think about Christmas?

I know stores such as David Jones and Myer prepare for their Christmas shopping season at least 6 to 12 months in advance, but to start selling the items now in October is really really pushing it. If they are selling last year’s stock, they are not even on discount!

Maybe they should start a Christmas day countdown as well!

Toy Sale!

In case you have not received a catalogue in your mailbox, Kmart is having one of their mega toy sale. I can assume this is to help them empty their warehouses for new Christmas wares. The sale has been on since 5th July until 18th July 2007. Its not a bad time to stock up on toys for relatives and friends, especially for the Christmas stockings.

And just in case you plan to miss it, Target will be having their toy sale in the following week: from the 19th July until 29th July 2007. So it is going to be rather difficult to avoid toys this month!

On the Cheap at Queen Victoria Market

I suppose this falls in either the blatantly obvious or didn’t know that category. In the past, the Queen Victoria Market was an essential place to buy cheap vegetables, meats, cheese, etc. More recently, the markets have been classed as a tourist attraction which has brought a majority of vendors selling all kinds of Melbourne and Australian souvenirs.

In many countries (such as the US), supermarkets are the cheapest and fruit and vegetable markets are few and far between. In Melbourne, meat, fruit and vegetables are considerably cheaper at markets. On average, you will spend at least half of what you do at the supermarket.

A couple of tips:

  • Best times to buy: Right before closing time. Around 3PM on weekends.

Picked up some Fuji apples, typically around $3/kg at normal times, for $2/kg right before closing.
Safeway/Coles: Around $5/kg if available.

  • If you plan to eat the fruit soon, look for a bin of very ripe fruit. They usually clear these out at very cheap prices.
  • To get a feel for good prices, both Coles and Safeway have an online presence where you can look prices up beforehand.

Feel free to add any other tips in the comments.

Picture by Jari Kurittu

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Chadstone’s VIP shopping night

I was at Chadstone for their VIP shopping night earlier. Crowded at 10pm, even. Its amazing how many people are at the mall, and I’m wondering if having extended hours daily (instead of store closures at 5-5.30pm) will make more sense?

Point-to-note (since I saw a lot making the same mistake): no more Fly Buys usage at Myer. They’ve not been part of the Coles group for over six months, afaik.

Saw 4 annoying people, 2 couples, young, buying a doona and 2 pillows for someone’s birthday. Smart aleck boy decided to ask a lot of silly questions about the warranty on the doona, while standing in line at the cashier. He made a lot of people queue up for longer than they should have. I’m fine with sensible questions, but here he was asking about an insurance policy, if lumps came up in the doona, will he get a replacement while his is getting fixed, and so on. Ridiculous, for the sake of asking, kinds of questions. </observation>

“open” Public space vs. malls

Part of the Melbourne Conversation, where the research was into the Transnational & Temporary, was the use of public space. Why is it that malls like Melbourne Central or QV were much more populated, as opposed to parks like Lincoln Square, the State Library (when there was grass), and so forth.

I think many doing the study, haven’t actually studied foreign geography closely enough. Where do the 37% (or 50% if looking at the northern fringes – does this include Melbourne Central/QV? Where exactly does this fringe end? – if Figure 1 was online, its safe to assume the area around RMIT (Latrobe) to UniMelb) of students from overseas come from? Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, mainly (going from memory, afaik – I’m sure there are more, but the major classification stated by the researchers seemed to be these).

Is there a park culture in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong or Vietnam? Having been to four out of the five countries in that list, I can assure you that nobody hangs out in parks. The idea of sitting down on the greens, in the humid sweltering heat, is just not fun. You hit up malls and shopping strips. Air-conditioning is good (same can be said for the heating, here, I guess).

Its only normal that if you’ve grown up spending time in malls, you’d do the same when you go overseas. The park is foreign, as a culture.

Is the solution having little seats below a shady tree? (suggested last night) I don’t think so. Will the use of open public space like parks make them more community members? Or should change be embraced, in where we head for a mall culture?

Years ago (and this was not long ago – 5 years is a good bet), Melbourne didn’t know of Starbucks, Gloria Jeans, or Coffee Bean. Coffee, was to be had at small corner cafes. Now, does anyone want to count the density of coffee joints on Swanston St., for example? Changing culture, has led to a new, more commercialized coffee culture.

Any guesses as to why we have such changing culture? You guessed right, it came from the mall culture that the overseas students brought with them. Businesses recognize this – change is the only constant, and we’re all in it to make a profit. However, some people are still holding on tightly to the past.

Don’t spend all your money on Easter eggs!

Tempting though it may be, if you save your pennies you will be much happier.

Why?

Because there is an amazing clothing sale coming up for men & women!

On Friday the 13th of April from 12-9pm, Saturday the 14th & Sunday the 15th from 12-6pm there’s going to be a sale on Chiodo, Comme Des Garcons, Y-3, Martin Margiela & ic! berlin clothing.

Location? 111 A’Beckett Street. Ground floor — it’s a gold art-deco style building, on the corner of Elizabeth Street.

Definitely one to mark on your calendar! For the style-conscious, of course ;>

[source!]

Nike Melbourne Closed

a bit slow to be reported perhaps but after 8 years the landmark city meeting place, nike’s flagship store in australia, nike melbourne, has closed!

nike melbourne closed

the old nike melbourne

the old nike melbourne

now i guess when we need a meeting spot, we’ll all meet at “the old nike melbourne place”.

i wonder what’s going to replace it. who would’ve thought a nike shop had the ability to close down. those dudes throw money like it don’t mean nothing…

An Early Start to Easter?

When is Easter? I’m quite sure it is in April but I am already finding easter eggs on shelves. We had chocolates for Christmas, Valentine’s chocolate sales is recently over and now the shelves are full of easter eggs!

Do we have an obsession with chocolates?

Last Stop – St Kilda Beach

It’s Thursday, not quite the weekend….yet not exactly a school night either, those who have survived the perils of en masse amour might be clamoring for something, you know….chilled.

Denizens of Lady St Kilda will be out to reclaim their turf after recovering from a weekend of hosting hoards of happy Melbournites.

In it’s last weeks – the St Kilda Beach Night Markets is nestled in the O’Donnell Gardens on Acland with Luna Park, palm trees and squawking cockatoos as a quintessential backdrop.

Meander amongst the stalls offering an alternative mix of clothing, jewellery, massage, candles, plants, second hand clothes, fabrics, beads, artwork & crafts.

Or stake out a patch of grass and relax with the ambient music, lanterns, fire twirling demos and the refreshing ales you’ve picked up along the way. Better yet, get a mate to pick up some ales.

On from 5-10pm tonight, ahhhhh…..all better.

Take a 96 to Luna Park

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