Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shopping in Stuttgart

For some, shopping is a favorite pastime, for others it's a necessary evil. Whether you fall into one of these categories, or somewhere in between, Stuttgart can provide practically everything you need or want. When we first arrived here in Stuttgart, what we first noticed is that shopping times are very different. On weekdays, the shops usually open from 10:00AM to 8:00PM and smaller shops have a midday break. Shops are closed on Sundays and holidays so that if you run out of diapers for your baby on a Sunday, you're in trouble. Product choices are also limited but its amazing to find that the sales clerks know their merchandise.

Credit cards are not as ubiquitous here as they are elsewhere so that you should be prepared to make your purchases using another form of payment, such as cash or EC card. Although many larger stores and chain stores generally accept credit cards, smaller shops may not. Just look out for the signs on the shop doors though so you will know if they accept credit cards or not.

When an additional cash register is opened to accommodate a growing line of customers, the next customer in this long queue is not automatically given the first customer status in the new queue. Instead, there is a mad dash to the new register where first come is first served.

Be sure to have a €1 coin or token handy when grocery shopping. You will need this to "rent" the shopping cart. You will get it back though when you return the cart. Be sure to also bring a shopping basket or bag in your car to cut down on bag costs. Grocery bags here are purchased when you check out for about €0.30 each and bringing your own helps a lot to cut down on bag costs. You will be responsible for packing your own groceries so be quick because the cashier won't wait until you finish packing to serve the next customer.

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