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Perth (Australia) - Shopping

Shopping hours in Perth and its suburbs are usually limited to the hours of between 9am to 5/6pm on weekdays and Saturdays. Mini supermarkets, certain pharmacies and liquor shops operate slightly beyond the normal trading hours (until about 9pm daily). On public holidays, most shops are closed. 24-hour shopping is not popular in Perth, and do not expect shops, especially those in the suburbs, to be open on Sundays. The exception is Thursdays in the suburbs ("late night shopping"), when grocery stores and other major departmental stores remain open till 9pm. Most shops in the city will also remain open till 9pm on Fridays. Some shops located within the Perth CBD, or in Fremantle or Mandurah, have special trading hours, (i.e., they are open for business on Sundays). Do take note that this is a rarity.

The two main departmental stores in Perth are Myer and David Jones. These department stores can be found in most major suburbs around Perth, and you can get all you need to set up your home. Major shopping centres are all-in-one centres – you can usually get your groceries, do banking, etc, all in the comfort of a single building. Most of them also have wheelchair and baby friendly facilities. Parking is usually free and ample. Other stores that sell furniture (apart from Ikea) include Freedom, Fantastic Furniture and Bedshed. For electrical goods, try Harvey Norman, Retra Vision, or The Good Guys. You can also choose to rent furniture instead (e.g. Radio Rentals).

Expatriates on a budget will find the range of discount retailers staggering - Target (Australia), K-Mart and Big W (a Western Australian brand) can be found in a number of suburbs shopping areas such as Garden City in Booergoon (10 minutes from city centre), Belmont Plaza in Cloverdale (5 minutes from city centre), Centro Galleria in Morley (about 10 minutes northeast from city centre). Some of these retailers offer special discounts for late night shopping on Thursdays.

Being located right in agriculture-rich land means that shopping for fresh produce is exceptional. The major grocery stores are Coles, Woolsworth and IGA (Independent Grocers of Australia) – these can be found in most neighbourhoods. A number of Western Australian / gourmet / organic farmers also provide delivery services – the quality of the produce is excellent, but there is a price paid for the convenience. There are also a number of online grocers. The Cannington Fresh Market (1493 Albany Highway, Beckenham), is where you can find all the ingredients you need to whip up a Chinese stir-fry, Thai tom-yum soup, or Indian curry. Get there early on Saturdays to beat the hive of activity, where you can get seriously fresh produce at very reasonable prices. For Italian delicacies, try The Re Store at 72 Lake Street, Northbridge (Tel: 9328 1877). Fresh produce, such as seasonal fruit and vegetables, regional farm-made delicacies can also be bought at farmer's markets – look out for signs placed by the roadside, especially on weekends.

If you hanker after leading European or American retail brands to the likes of Louis Vuitton or Prada, you will have to fly to Sydney or Melbourne for that – in Perth, it is the local designer scene that takes centrestage in the major shopping strip. The local designer scene is pretty varied, and have grown from strength to strength.

All goods and services have a 10% tax.

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