We'd been hearing about this superstore in Uruguay called Géant Hipermercado (pronounced sheee-awnt, we believe), which was located just past the Carrasco area and wanted to check it out. Géant was described to us as a something like Super Target or Walmart. There is only one location in Uruguay and because of the distance from our home in Pocitos, it was a whole afternoon event.
The DM1 bus run by Cutsca is the easiest and least expensive way to get to Géant. There is a full schedule available online. This bus stops at all the major malls: Punta Carretas, Montevideo Shopping, Portones, then Géant and finally out to Zona América (the tax-free business zone outside of the city). There are a few stops in between all the malls and we caught it on the corner of Ellauri and 21 de Setiembre, right outside of McDonalds. It is 24 pesos per adult and the bus was a comfortable coach-type with large reclining seats. With the limited stops, it took about a half an hour to get to Géant and it was fun to see parts of the city without having to drive ourselves. The bus stops are very fast, so you need to be standing and prepared to exit the bus from the back when it stops.
Géant was a whole different world than what we've seen in the small grocery stores or malls around Pocitos/PuntaCarretas. Géant was the anchor in a huge complex with a mall and casino around it. The bus lets you off across the street, but it's only a short walk through the parking lot to the main doors.
Géant is owned by the Disco chain of stores (using the same 'Más' loyalty card) and it has many of the same items. The store is huge, with 64 check out lanes and more selection than we've seen before in Uruguay, in nearly every category. There are appliances, home electronics, full grocery store, clothing, toys, housewares, books and some furniture. We also noticed some larger "bulk" sizes in the food and toiletry areas.
The selection of baby and child items here was better than I have seen at any one store before: clothes, diapers, carseats, highchairs, baby proofing items, diapers and tons of toys. Prices for these items still weren't cheap by any means (Geneva's 48 pack of XG Babysec diapers were 312 pesos and a pair of toddler fleece pants were 299 pesos) but the selection was good.
Do not walk into Géant expecting North American quality products though. There is a different standard of quality in Uruguay. Many items are made in China and are just different than what we have learned to expect. I know that Uruguayos don't like these cheap products either, but it's all that's available. I never thought I would miss my neighborhood Target store!
We walked out of there with a few random items that caught our eye, but nothing big. We stopped for a moment at the food court to grab a snack and off across the parking lot to the bus stop again. You can bring your cart right up to the bus stop if needed. The DM1 bus took us back to our stop at Ellauri and 21 de Setiembre for another 24 pesos per adult and we had a short walk back to our house.
Géant also delivers for those living in Carrasco, Punta Gorda and surrounding areas. See their site for more details.
Av. Ing. Giannattasio y Av. A la Playa Tel.: 601 53 53
Hours 8:30 AM-10 PM everyday