Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Lotte Mart in Distcrit 7, Ho Chi Minh City - a review

We went on the opening day to the new Lotte Mart, desperately looking for more choices of products as there is always a lack of everything in Citimart and Co.

We decided to take a taxi, which was a good decision - it was overcrowded there. But they have plenty of space for motobikes, so during the week you should be able to park without waiting to long (and they charge no fee).
There are three parts of the Lotte Mart: The dining area with Pizza Hut, Angelinus Cofee and Gloria Jeans as well as the food court in the third floor. Then there is Lotte Cinema, Bowling and some area for children in the 2nd floor. And then they have the huge supermarket in the ground floor and the department store in the first floor.

The supermarket
Let's start with the supermarket: After some minutes we were disappointed. The reasons:
- same range of products like in Citimart or Coop
- meat is presented without any cover, so people can touch it or do whatever
- baguettes are presented without any cover, everyone touches that stuff (even the readymade pizaa baguette)
- hygiene at all doesn't play an important role
- the vegetables looked old and faded, even on the first day
- everything has to be wrapped in plastic bags, which isn't really environment friendly
- they try to force you to leave bags outside, but if you (as a foreigern) instist, then they give up
- credit card payment is possible, but the staff doesn't know how

The good points are:
- a lot of cashiers, and they do their best
- fast dirt response team cleaning the floor
- friendly helpful staff
- huge ammount of products, so hopefuly they won't get out of stock so fast
- big carts and small baskets to carry your stuff
- overall shelfs and products are in order

The department store in the first floor is ok, some clothes, ugly furniture and electronics, Nothing special, but not bad.

The Pizza Hut:
Surprisingly friendly and well organized at the opening day (and the was a hell lot of stress for them) , friendly helpful and attentive staff. We got our noodles in time, everything fine. Strongly recommended.

Food court second floor: Seems to be ok, large selecetion, nice decorated and designed chinese restaurant, Highlands Coffee, Wrap and Roll, Pho24.

Cinema: Our hope for entertainment, unfortunately they were sold out. Apparently there are 5 screens, and they announced movies like James Bond. No idea if its dubbed or OV with subtitles.

We will not use the supermarket at Lotte Mart, because we get the same products at Citimart and FiVi mart. For Vietnamese people and some Koreans it might be a place to do the shopping, having some entertainment for the children and everything at one place. For us, its too crowded and at christmas time too noisy. We will go there for a Pizza or Cinema, but thats it.

UPDATE> An article in Saigon Times shows, what the problem is: Just ten percent products are from Korea


Nataly said...

So much hope for this super market - and such a big disappointment. I am sorry to say that the Lotte Mart offers less choice on a bigger space in its super market. I never thought I would say this, but the Lucky Supermarkets in Phnom Penh have a better and bigger assortment of products than this world famous Korean brand. I am sure if you enter a Lotte Mart in Korea you will have an incredible selection of products, but here in Vietnam it is exactly the same stuff you get in every Fivi or Coop. What a pity!

Patrick said...

I have not been to Lotte yet, but my experience with finding good western products in Vietnma is not so great. So much for free trade!