Emarts (and homeplus) are the main grocery store chains  in South Korea. I don’t have one near me, but while visiting a friend I went in one. My local grocery store is limited in what it sells. The Emart I went to with my friend was more like (for those in the US) a Walmart or Target. It was three floors where they sold electronics, kitchen equipment, clothes, toys, gardening supplies and so much more I’m sure I didn’t see because the store was huge and packed. We grabbed a cart and set off in search of things I didn’t have at my local grocery store.

Emarts are huge, so here’s what I would do if I lived near one. Try to figure out when is not peak shopping times, in other words, try and shop not on the weekends. Which I do with my local grocery store. If it gets packed then it’ll take forever so I go after work during the week, and not on Fridays so that I can get in and out without dealing with long lines. Get a rolling bag, they sell them at Emart, it helps with heavy items like laundry detergent. Bring or buy a bag for everything else. I carry a small backpack with me for grocery shopping because you have to pay for bags, but most likely if your shopping near where you live the bags they give you can be used for trash. Each section outside of some of the food sections has someone working there. If you seem interested in something in that section they’ll probably hang around you and point out the sales. It’s their job. Plus if you go with the sale item they suggest to you sometimes there’s other goodies. Like I bought a laundry detergent that the worker suggested on and she ran off to get me a gift to go with it, this is called Seobiseu.  I got free toothpaste with my laundry detergent and I thought that was cool. Emarts are also good for buying spices. My local grocery store only has some basic spices, like cinnamon and basil and a very limited selection of foreign foods while Emart had aisles of both. If you live near an Emart you’re probably set with most things you need, but definitely give yourself plenty of time in order to figure out where everything is and double check prices so you don’t end up buying something extremely expensive and fancy.

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