Shopping in Johannesburg is much like shopping anywhere in the world. Most shops are mall based including the supermarkets. There may be a few things that might be new to you. Most shops are open 7 days a week. Generally ones that are in a large mall will have standard opening hours. However, be aware that many shops, including car dealerships and some furniture shops, shut at 2pm on a Saturday and may or may not be open on a Sunday morning. Car dealerships are shut on Sundays.
Most supermarkets are open from 8am to 6 or 7pm during the week and on Saturdays. On Sundays they vary from 8am to 1 or 3pm.
On Public holidays (Bank holidays to you or me) and Sundays, alcohol is only available to buy in the mornings or until 3pm at some stores. Beer and hard liquor are only sold in bottle stores (off licences!)
- You are charged for plastic bags everywhere you go.
- Most supermarkets have packers who will pack your shopping for you and in some they will offer to take it to the car. It’s not normal to tip the packer but if someone brings the shopping to the car for you a small tip is nice.
- In some places (typically electronic shops and some other large stores) as you leave there will be a security guard who will check in your bag and stamp your receipt.
- Because in many malls there is paid parking it’s worth checking whether you can validate your parking in a machine before you leave the supermarket so it is free.
- Most shops here have loyalty cards! For some you may need to swipe them at a machine as you go in and choose to redeem your points if you want to use them to pay at the till, or alternatively print out vouchers for goods you might buy. Unlike the UK this isn’t an automatic process.
- Parkhurst 4th Avenue and Tyrone Avenue in Parkview are a lot more like European high streets which include lots of restaurants, shops and boutiques.
Paying for your shopping
- When paying for your shopping all major international credit cards are accepted. Retailers will accept debit cards and cash but are more wary of accepting cheques. You will find a lot of establishments don’t accept them anymore. If you do need to use your old dusty cheque book you will be required to provide some form of identification and personal contact details which quite frankly is time consuming!!
- It is not advisable to carry around large amounts of cash.