Les courses (lay koorce- groceries/shopping). It can also mean "the races" (as in horse) but it is most often used for obligatory shopping like back-to-school shopping and for groceries. To shop for fun is referred to as "faire du shopping" (with a long 'o').
I, personally, prefer the latter type of consumerism so doing the grocery shopping with a toddler in tow is right up there with having dental work done. No fun for anybody. In Paris, which lacks the space for big "hyper-markets" our grocery shopping was done in the many fresh produce markets and small grocery stores in our neighborhood.
Once we moved to "province" (and the French mean anywhere outside of Paris proper) we no longer had the neighborhood shops and had to contend with mega-stores like Carrefour and E.Leclerc. Once could easily spend several house going through the aisles, picking up frivolous items along the way. Wow! a super plastic thingamajig for only 2 euros? Oui!!
So I, and the hubs, were happy when they introduced the scanners. You scan your store card at the entrance and it liberates a scanner that you use to scan your items as you go. You have a live feed of your total. Handy. When you're ready to pay you merely hand your scanner to the cashier who registers the information on the computer, you pay and go. No emptying of your cart.
Then they decided to take things up a notch. Internet shopping. I can shop when it's convenient for me, 24/7, and I can choose when I want to pick up my groceries- same day or later on in the week.
|Screen shot of the Fresh Produce page|
When the chosen time comes, I drive over to the pick-up station, scan my card at this scanner and wait for a smiley person to come out and load my groceries into my trunk. Yes, they load them into the trunk too! Since we recycle a lot here in France, every bag that I bring back from a previous shopping puts money on my card for next time. On top of it all, I don't have to undo a single car-seat. It's really win-win especially since there's now an iphone app. for it too. Sigh, modern times.
Speaking of shopping trends, when I was on vacation I was pleasantly surprised to see these :
Individual bag dispensers. So much more handy than those metal arms they used to hang on. Ok, it's not eco-friendly, but it is practical and gadget-y. Like!