Australian equivalent of US stores
January 8, 2010 11:26 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone suggest Australian equivalent of...

Trader Joe's, Whole Foods (basically I'm looking for a store that sells mostly organic food), Costco,,, Netflix, Macy's, Marks and Spencer, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Sears, Home Depot, and (of course) Wal-mart (especially in Sydney and Canberra)?

Additionally, I'd love to hear your thoughts on where to buy suits (for work) both for men and women.

Thank you!
posted by caelumluna to Shopping (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: All from a Melbourne perspective :

Costco - one just opened here. I believe there is one opening in Sydney soon (if it hasn't already)

amazon - umm... amazon? It works just as well here as it does in the US, even if delivery costs are a bit higher. I know heaps of people who regularly order from amazon. Alternatively, if you're just after books, Borders have an online store which I used recently and it worked fine.

Home Depot - Bunnings, I guess.

Wal-mart - now I'm not entirely sure what Wal-mart is all about, but from what I do know, the closest analog here is probably Big W. There's also K-Mart and Target, of course.

Department stores - Myer or David Jones.

For business suits, I use Roger David or Fletcher Jones, but they do men only, so far as I know.

Sadly, I'm not aware of any (legal) equivalent of Netflix :(
posted by Diag at 5:31 AM on January 9, 2010

Best answer: Well, giant chains mostly don't exist here on the same scale as in the US. So the short answer to your question may well be that equivalents just don't exist. I don't know Sydney well, so there may be some better local info. But here goes...

As far as organic food goes, you're probably best to find your local market or farmers' market. There is probably a small organic shop near you, but afaik, there aren't any chains for that type of thing.

Costco - maybe Aldi? pretty much still =, although obviously things won't arrive as fast. You might want to check out which aggregates book and DVD prices from online stores shipping to Australia. For DVDs online, try Atlantic DVD, and for CDs Red Eye Records (in Sydney) and Missing Link (in Melbourne) are really your only options. For real bookstores - Dymocks, Angus and Robertson, Borders.

David Jones and Myer are the department stores. David Jones is slightly posher. They exist in every city, and are probably an obvious place to try for suits, as well as appliances etc. Big W is similar but a bit cheaper (and maybe the closest thing to a Wal-mart).

Harvey Norman also do appliances etc. (though you can probably find better deals elsewhere). Bunnings is for hardware. JB Hi-Fi can be good for entertainment-y type stuff depending on the store, and Dick Smiths and Tandy for little electrical things like cords, batteries etc.

If you want to get a feel for the chain-ish stores, (or as close as we have to them), just go for a wander down the nearest mall - most of them will be represented there. Otherwise, your basic answer is to go to one of the department stores, or find out what local store does the specific thing you want better and cheaper, or go online and find somewhere that ships here. Annoying, but basically true.

If you can't find the suit you want at one of the department stores, you probably need to start looking in the smaller clothing fashion chains, or even local shops. Country Road have nice mens' and women's business wear.
posted by Emilyisnow at 5:59 AM on January 9, 2010

Best answer: Australian who's been to the US who lives in Canberra and spends a lot of time in Sydney:

Trader Joes: there's nothing like Trader Joes in Australia. There are plenty of non-chain delicatessens that will bring you funky stuff from all around the world, but nothing with the sheer variety of 'stuff' you can get at TJs. In Canberra, try Providore in Manuka, The Essential Ingredient in Kingston and the various delis at the Belconnen and Fyshwick markets. It's just not the same though.

Whole Foods - as above. No chains, just smaller, independent health / whole food stores. Try Mountain Creek Whole Foods in Canberra - it's at the Griffith shops.

Costco - this is a tricky one. There are large wholesaling places that look pretty much like a Costco - ten gallons of mayonnaise, fifty pound bag of pine nuts, whatever. However, you need to meet some requirements before you can become a member. See Campbells Cash and Carry for an example - they're in Sydney and Canberra. Otherwise, wait for Costco to open in Sydney. - most Aussies just go to Amazon, or The Book Depository. If you really want something Australian (and can beat suspicions that somebody's just placed your order through Amazon for you), there's The Nile. I steer clear of Borders in Australia - they look like a lifeline, but their prices are outrageous. - Aussies are big on 'computer markets' and 'computer fairs'. You can pretty much guarantee there'll be one close to you on any given weekend. This is where we buy our cheap computer stuff. If you're really searching for cheap tech online, use staticice.

Netflix - Bigpond Movies?

Macy's - Myer.

Marks and Spencer - David Jones.

Best Buy - Dick Smith, JB Hi Fi, Domayne.

B&N - nothing I know of has this mix / range of music, DVDs and books, unless you go to a Borders.

Sears - nothing like Sears - at least, not in one store. You should be able to find pretty much anything you'd get at Sears using a combination of Big W / Target / Bunnings / Rebel Sport.

Home Depot - Bunnings, sort of.

Walmart - there's nothing that comes close to Walmart. You'll have to settle for Big W and Target plus a supermarket like Woolworths or Coles for your groceries. Aldi has the weird mix of stuff ("why yes, we do sell treadmills, they're next to the tomatoes"), but not the enormous scale.

Suits - we'll need more information about your preferences and budget.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:10 AM on January 10, 2010

Netflix = Although I gather Netflix in the USA has on-demand downloads or something, which aren't available here yet.

JB's HiFi for music, DVDs and games; Dymocks for an Australian bookstore, Borders for an international that has a foothold here.

Work suits will depend hugely on your budget - Portmans does them for women at a budget level, Tarocash for guys, David Jones and Myer for both men and women. But there are smaller specialist places as well, I don't know if Tony Barlow is a national or a state (WA) chain but they do good quality mens' suits.
posted by harriet vane at 7:01 AM on January 10, 2010

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