So for weeks and weeks I’ve been hearing about this S&R place. People would RAVE on and on about it and I was getting a bit tired of not knowing what all the hype was about. So last weekend we had an Embassy car and driver (they allow you two loan periods of 3 hours until your car arrives). Nick and I decided that it was time – we would venture in to S&R! It felt like this big production… but boy oh boy did we have a blast during our 2 hours there.
It looked and felt just like a Costco. Same layout, same types of products. Even a concession stand serving cheap pizza and ice cream. I was in heaven! 80% imported American products – the unfortunate part is that you’re going to pay to have them. I’d say on average most things were 30% higher than what it’d be priced in the USA. Blue Bunny ice cream was $6 for a half gallon (I bought 3!) and our ironing board was $50. I think the consensus in the embassy community though is that it’s okay to spend a bit more once and awhile to get exactly what you want! There is something wonderfully comforting about having YOUR brand product every once and awhile versus the local equivalent.
There were some nice upsides to this experience though – far less traffic than a typical warehouse store in the US. And no wait in the check-out lines (thank goodness for an abundance of labor). Also, in the clothing section they featured overruns of American brands that were produced in the Philippines. Nick got a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt for $10 (it still had the manufacturer’s tag with $75 on it). And in the food area, you don’t have to buy in bulk. You’re allowed to break open cases and just buy small quantities – a very nice thing for our family unit of 2!
And so I’ve been introduced to yet another fabulous resource that makes my life in Manila more comfortable. I am well aware of the fact that we are being spoiled ridiculously here and will never have so many Western conveniences at our future posts. I plan on enjoying it while it lasts though!