Right across from the King Hussein public park is City Mall which is still being built. The French company Carrefour however has now opened and I went to take a look at what they have to offer. First of all let me say the mall is much better than Mecca Mall and Abdoun Mall combined. For one they have over 3,000 parking spots all within three floors under ground. The mall itself is about 7 floors if I counted right: four above ground and three below. Five or six of them purely retail. It is still under construction and most shops have not even moved in let alone put up a sign. However there is a Body Shop and I what I think is the first Foot Locker. Finally we can all buy our Nike sneakers for a reasonable 200JD price. Whew.
Carrefour is decent enough. There was no ‘wow’ factor to it. The prices are very reasonable (not sarcasm at all). Most prices are below West Amman market standard by a few piasters. Some more than others. What is unique is of course the bulk products. We are talking about a tub of mayo for 6JDs. Or enough rice to feed a small country for about 15JDs. So on and so forth. The other unique aspect is that most, if not all, the produce such as vegetables and fruits are made in Jordan. Under every sign is the product’s price and country of origin. So it’s nice to know they’re helping out the market.
The second floor also does not have much of a ‘wow factor’. A few aisles for clothes, drill bits, stationary, home appliances such as ovens, a single aisle for English and Arabic books with average West Ammani prices. The only thing I found interesting was the electronics section. Carrefour has, what I believe to be, the best electronic section in Amman right now. From high definition TV’s to laptops, stereo systems, playstations, cell phones; the works.
Overall the place is not that bad. It’s big enough to never appear crowded.
They’ve employed many many many local Jordanians. I mean a lot. Something like 500 employees last I heard. I couldn’t take pictures for “security reasons” and the security there watches you like a hawk. Moreover I didn’t appreciate that whenever I stopped walking to check something out a worker would stop two meters away from me and watch me or wait for me to ask for help but all in all just stare at me. Then when I moved, he would move. At one point I wanted to do the Napoleon Dynamite dance routine and see if he would follow. The mall also has a security system that goes off every few minutes when someone steals something. The sound is something you would expect to hear at the coming of the Apocalypse.
I also wish they had those little tables where you could taste products like at North America’s Costco.
What I appreciated most about the place honestly is the parking. That’s not an insult. You’d have to live in Amman to understand what a blessing that is. They even have those people that wave you in and guide your car to the nearest parking spot. Maybe that’s just a temporary thing though. The metal detectors also appear to be a temporary thing. I don’t see how either will last with hundreds of people pouring in every day.