No. 1 Peoples Department Store: If you're hunting for foreign foods....
The Walking Street is home to 4 major department stores: No. 1 Peoples Department Store; Kelly Department Store; the Commerical Mansion; and the International Department Store. Of these stores, No. 1 Peoples is probably the smallest and doesn't have the selection the others do. It does, however, have a nice grocery on the top floor which features several foreign foods.
What to buy: ZJG has a significant number of Korean and Japanese expats. Small shops can be found here and there selling Korean and Japanese brands, but the best selection of European as well as foreign Asian brands is probably found at the No. 1 Peoples Department Store. No. 1 Peoples also has good selection of wines and foreign snacks.
RT Mart probably has ZJG's best selection of freshly cut, packaged meat and fresh fruit and vegetables. They also have a small international foods section. Unfortunately, this section features way too much junk food and not nearly enough nutritious foreign foods.
What to pay: Prices are higher at No. 1 Peoples than at RT Mart or Su Guo. But the store stocks items that can't be found elsewhere in the city.
Su Guo: Not as large as RT Mart but....
If it's Saturday afternoon and you don't want to face the crowds at RT Mart, Su Guo is a good alternative. Located on the west side of the Walking Street, Su Guo is something of a hyper-mart, but on a smaller scale than RT Mart.
What to buy: Like RT Mart, Su Guo carries a bit of everything, but the selection is not nearly as good as RT Mart. Prices, however, are competitve.
What to pay: You can negotiate on items such as computers, but other prices are fixed.
RT Mart (Da Run Fa): The closest thing to a hyper-mart.
Da Run Fa (RT Mart) is about the closest thing ZJG has to a hyper-mart. RT Mart carries everything from digital cameras to fresh fruit, and offers the best selection in ZJG.
What to buy: RT Mart carries a little of everything. Air conditioners, sporting goods, electronics and groceries. RT Mart probably has ZJG's best selection of freshly cut, packaged meat and fresh fruit and vegetables. They also have a small international foods section. Unfortunately, this section features way too much junk food and not nearly enough nutritious foreign foods.
What to pay: The prices at RT Mart are very reasonable. You might be able to negotiate pricing on electronics and electric bicycles (mopeds), but other prices are fixed.
Bu Xing Jie: The Walking Street
Much of Zhangjiagang's retail activity is centered around Bu Xing Jie, the Walking Street or Pedestrian Street and neighboring Xi Jie. These streets more or less are the center of the city. The Walking Street is anchored by 4 department stores. Bu Xing Jie and Xi Jie are lined with numerous clothing, athletic apparel, shoe & jewelry stores as well as a cinema. The Walking Street is also home to the city's largest bookstore, Xinhua, but you'll be lucky if you find an English text there. The department stores feature several prominent foreign brands, including Nautica, Adidas, Nike, Levis, etc. Coffee shops and fast food can be found at both ends of the Walking Street.
The alleys linking the Walking Street and Xi Jie are filled with small shops selling CD/DVDs, electronics, software & computer games, less-expensive eclectic clothing, snack vendors and hair salons.
The Walking Street is a nice place to stroll when the weather is pleasant, and it's your best bet in ZJG for finding higher quality clothing, etc.
What to buy: ZJG is not known for its shopping. But if you can't escape to Shanghai, Suzhou or Wuxi, then your best bet is the Walking Street if you're hunting for name-brand merchandise. At the department stores along the Walking Street, you'll find foreign as well as Chinese brands. Esprit, E Land, Kappa, Nautica, Jack Jones, Levis, Umbro, Nike, Adidas and Columbia are among the brands you'll find. At the smaller stores along the street you'll find popular national brands such as Anta and 361.
What to pay: Prices along the street are not negotiable and tend to be relatively pricey.
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