Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Random Vietnam picture of the week

Circle K in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
You know in the western world it's easy to just stop by a convenience store be it AMPM, 7-11, Circle K or what have you on the way to work or from school.  Here in Vietnam it's just as easy, however instead of big corporate owned businesses you have your small mom and pop store, your sidewalk vendor, or a traveling vendor.  You'll hardly see a big name convenience store here.  So I was pleasantly surprised to find a Circle K hidden within a bunch of office buildings.

Froster Cup by Tkdg2007
I just had to stop by and check it out.  I couldn't wait to buy some western products, snacks, chips, candy, and drinks.  I park my motobike in the grass across the building and walk over.  I notice that the Circle K is basically deserted save for the Vietnamese staple of having a security guard.  I walk inside and I was... underwhelmed.  It was just like any other small shop here in Vietnam.  Nothing really stood out to me.  Everything they were selling I could have bought at the supermarket.  Yes, they did carry the usual American candy bars (again can buy these in the supermarket) but what about their signature "Frosters" (think ICEE or Slurpee)?  What about their grill items to go?  What about their magazine racks and wide selection of energy drinks and beer?

Needless to say I left the store disappointed.  I picked up a can of Vietnamese Red Bull and bought my S.O. some ice cream.  Thinking back on it I guess it was foolish of me to expect a perfect replica of an American Circle K.  Of course they have to cater to the local flavor.  Still though the place was empty and I couldn't help but wonder if they carried more American products would their stores been seen as "cool" by the younger crowd here.

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