Carrefour is a big hit with Amman’s masses

One of the intriguing comments I got from one of my regular readers was on my post about the recent opening of Carrefour in Amman. My dear reader asked “Since when has Jordan become a consuming country”.

Oh, dear reader, I just wish you were with me last night at 10:45 pm! I was driving home after a long day at the office without food. I remembered that Carrefour have prepared meals (Arabic: Tabeekh) and that it would be a good idea to pick something up for me to eat at home (my kids basically ate all the food earlier, I was told!).
So, like I said it was 10:45 PM.. On a Monday night.. The place was full. And guess what? It was not those “rich Western Ammani elites” who where busy ‘consuming’. This was NOT the Cozmo crowd. A wide spectrum of Ammani citizens was there. Take my word for it!.

And if you think these people where just taking a look. WRONG AGAIN. There where full trolleys being pushed through the vast array of cash registers. I had to wait for a few minutes in line to pay. At 11 PM!!
Since when Jordanians become consumers? HA

Since mothers started feeding their kids with ‘Nido’.

Since we started drinking ‘Bibsi’.

Since we started taking ‘Jibnet Abul Walad’ sandwiches to school.

Since kids in Zarqa started buying ‘bakeet chibs abu shilin’.

Since your grandma started cooking with ‘Samnet il Ghazal’

Since you started working on a computer with an ‘Intel Inside’.

That’s when.

The new thing is that now global retailers, not Abu Ali’s grocery is doing the selling. But we’ve already been through the ‘Subarmarket’ phase in the 80’s and the ‘Safeway’ phase in the 90’s. It’s only natural that our market has become attractive to ‘French Hypermarts’.

And, by the way, Carrefour in Jordan is not just a French ‘invasion’ but an Emerati one as well. Carrefour in the Middle East is a joint venture with the Majid Al Futtaim group. Welcome to Globalization meets Regionalization.

Ah yes: I bought ‘Mnazalet Beitinjan’ and ‘Ruzz’ :)

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13 Responses to “Carrefour is a big hit with Amman’s masses”

  1. Batir Wardam Says:

    Last night I was at safeway and I saw a couple withn their two kids buying foodstuff for 125.0 JDs! This is horrible! A small family can live decently on this food budget for a month.

  2. Farfesh Says:

    it’s about time someone teaches jordanian to stop the price gouging and to stop dumping discontinued or malfunctioned products in the Jordanian markets. I hope carrefour sets that example. their products are OK and their prices are OK. On one occasion, and after getting quotes from over 5 shops from around Garden street for a computer part, i bought it for 25 jd, only to find it being sold for 15jd at Carrefour. Hmmm!

    The best part is that the chain is french, not american. i know i know, they sell US products, but i feel less guilty buying them from a french outlet :)

  3. Osama Em7amed Says:

    Mr. Ahmad, citizins of the world are interested to know the news of your HD, it seems you’re back to your normal posting activing at your blog, does this means that your Laptop is back to life?

  4. Khalidah Says:

    Ahmad, this is really a super brilliant post :)

    The whole point of having an outlet like Carrefour is to give a chance for everyone (not only elite cozmo customers) to shop and get more variety …

    Jordan has always been a consuming country … it seems that marketing and advertising are actually working :)

  5. Massina Says:

    Batir, Which Amman do you live in?

  6. Batir Wardam Says:

    Massina can you plz elaborate your point?

  7. salam Says:

    A lot of people will hate me after reading my comment..
    I was thrilled that carrefour opened because it is very convenient for me ..walking distance ,while any oher major supermarket was at least a 15 minute drive away ,but with all these crowds in there..I miss my elite Cozmo experience(there’s a hidden bourgeois down inside me)..God it’s a horrible experience to do your shopping at carrefour , it takes you twice the time ,the cashiers are so incompetemt even at the fast lane ..I think I am sticking to cozmo for now or at least till crowds die down.Carrefour will always be there for emergencies too..thankfully!

  8. Massina Says:

    125 Jds a month isn’t a food budget in Amman that a family would live on decently in one month. Well, you might have been exaggerating, so I apologise, but I was also just being sarcastic about how expensive Amman has become as a place to live in.

    125 JDs a month can barely feed one man decently in a month, nowadays.

    As for that family buying foodstuff for 125 Jds in one time, I say why not? If you can afford it, you can chose to live any lifestyle you wish, and nobody has a right to judge you in anyway, good or bad. Well, as long as it’s not an illegal lifestyle.

  9. Ghassan Says:

    Hi Salam,
    you are right, I agree with you! no offense to others!
    It’s the quality that we are talking about, not about showing off.
    The small details, the personal service, the smile, the eye contact with the clients, the welcome greetings, the “thank you “, the “thank you for shopping here” the “hope to see you again soon” and the “good bye” ....
    Those are the free of charge services every client wants to recieve when they shop.

  10. Omar Says:

    Jordanians are the most consuming people (in it’s worst meaning!), i’ve ever seen without producing so much.. Although the people don’t have the money, they still go to the mall “to shop” or – and that’s the thing i mostly thought was a bad habit – go get a meal from a restaurant rather than cook themselves.

    “Have you tried that one out? wow. The price is really high, i’d have to put half of my salary on it, but it smells sooo good..”

    Then everybody is complaining about how low their income is and how the prices are hitting the roof… i really can’t understand it.

  11. Nad Says:

    Unfortunately, I too have been to Carrefour, and I too have been bitten by the bitter experience. I had to drive around their horrible parking for over 15 minutes till I could actually park my car. The cashiers are sooooooooo slow, the girls who weigh at the fruit and vegetable department don’t even know how to respond to ‘thank you’, and I find it real funny how you pay 100 fils for your shopping cart. I mean I wouldn’t take the shopping cart back to its place if they were going to pay me for it. The behavior of the Mall security (the ones who request you to remove your mobile phones on your way in) is repulsive. All in all, I would not trade in my Cozmo experience for a million Carrefour, more importantly; the 1 or 2 Dinars I will save by shopping at Carrefour are not worth the trouble.
    Sorry, but I totally disagree with the idea that Carrefour is a big hit. People who check it out once will never go back. Yup, it’s our new Saqf- El- Sail.

  12. Mariam Ayyash Says:

    well, i wasnt obvious when i asked “since when jordan has become a consuming country?” my quesion is, when did jordan become a TOP consuming country that a retailer as big as carrefour is turning attention to it? WE? the SMALL un productive yalla yalla country? and no i believe it has much much serious side effects than what appears… Kuwait is the second most consuming country in the world, but they are also one of the most rich countries Jordan is POOOOOR, and when those poor people hit the markets to buy consumed items, they MUST rebalance that by human production, and since Jordan does not own any natural resources, we concentrate on the human resources… recently there have been development there, but we instantly started wasting this money around on consumed items bashing the whole balance scale apart… it is dangerous, and it worries me to death! When you say u found ppl shopping at 11 PM, it does not relieve me, it worries me more, we are grwoing the habit of consumption even amongst those who had little to spend! thats even WORSE!

    safeway or meccamall are all little mistakes, carrefour is another, i am not excluding the existance of any of these malls, its slow and painless death, so that by the time u realize ur dying, you have little energy to fight back.

    oh, and the 125 JDS DO happen to live up a family of at least four in eastern Amman per month, the poor guys who get hammered by our western spoiled consumption habits.

    I wish we can be a different example, by refusing to change our buying habbits just because the goods are available. It is a trick usually played against ladies who go shopping at discount seasons! buy one get one free, but i never needed that one in the first place!

    and to make a pile of sh*t smell worse: france MUST get something out of it… and that “little thing” they are getting, is what bugs me most of this whole issue, they dont deserve it, we deserve it more!

  13. TG Says:

    I totally agree with Mariam Ayyash.

    Thumbs up!

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