Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bottled Water

Bonaqua $5.2 
Cool $5.2

Vita $4.8 
Circle K (Across from Wanchai fire station)

View Hong Kong Price Discrimination in a larger map

Bonaqua $6.2

Cool $6.8
Circle K (Times Square UA Cinema)

I had always suspected that Circle K actively promulgated price discrimination at its stores and at last, I have definitive proof that it does.

This afternoon I stopped by the Circle K stand across from the Times Square UA cinema, the one that boasts twin refrigerators which stock an assortment of lukewarm beverages ripe for a muggy Hong Kong day.  One look at the pricing, however, and I quickly walked away, my tongue hanging out not in thirst but in disgust, for who would willingly pay $6.8 for a Cool, or $6.2 for Bonaqua when the going price for both is around five dollars?

Seeking a better deal, along the underpass I walked about one hundred meters, until I reached another Circle K, farther away from the maddening crowds and consequently, I suspected, less prone than its higher traffic cousin to ridiculous price points.  Indeed, I found both the Bonaqua and Cool priced at $5.2, savings of 1 dollar and $1.6 respectively in comparison to their Times Square prices.  In fact, this branch even stocked Vita, a choice which the Times Square branch didn't even offer, priced at $4.8, the least expensive of the three brands.  I chose the Vita, and felt somewhat smug in doing so.

For me, and for the impecunious at large, walking a hundred meters away from the throngs to find a colder, cheaper drink is well worth the effort -- support low prices; don't give into extortion!  


  1. I think even 4 dollars for a bottle of water is a rip-off, and not environmentally friendly. What I tend to do is bring my own flask - always a good way to save a few dollars (which add up if you think about it), without adding to Hong Kong's trash problem.

  2. I agree. I lug around my 1-liter Nalgene bottle and not only does it save me some cash, it also is, indeed, environmentally friendly. On that day, however, I had already finished my water and bought some to top up!