Supermarkets -v- the People?


It has been bothering me since about the time it has been instigated. It’s a simple thing that shouldn’t really get me agitated as it has very little effect on me, and in many respects it is a good principal to take. It’s just that I think it’s the wrong step and I don’t think it really solves any problems, only encourages more populist resolutions to complicated social and economic problems.

What am talking about? Sunday closing for the so-called discount stores in Korea.

Now lets establish some terminology first.

“Discount stores” are what major supermarket chains are called in Korea. These include E-Mart (part of Shinsaegae international), Homeplus (owned by Tesco, the second largest supermarket company in the world), and Lotte Mart, which are the biggest ones.

Supermarket Sweep

Korea, of course, has supermarkets to cater for the needs of consumers. The average supermarket puts some western ones to shame with the diverse array of products that it will have in stock. Everything from pizza to peondaeggi (silkworm larvae), tampons to Tiger Balm, plus a wide range of furniture, foods, clothes and electronics fill the shelves and the aisles.

However, unlike a trip to a supermarket in the western hemisphere, in Korea it’s considered a family outing. All walks of life are seen there, from the toddler to the ajuma, a woman of a certain age.

Rarely do you find an out-of-town site dedicated to a superstore, you are more likely to come across one tucked in amongst residential and commercial buildings.

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