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Chinese Phrases you hear in every Convenient Store
Convenience stores 便利店 (biànlìdiàn) like FamilyMart (全家 quánjiā) and LAWSON (罗森 luósēn) are very popular in China. You can get almost all kinds of daily necessities at reasonable prices in these stores. If you would like to buy some stuff in a convenience store, the shop assistant might ask you some questions when you are paying for your purchase.
Let’s take a look at 5 phrases you’ll often hear in Chinese convenience stores.
欢迎光临 huānyíng guānglín - Welcome
This is the #1 phrase you will hear when you enter a chain convenience store. “欢迎 huānyíng” means “welcome”, and “光临 guānglín” is a formal way to say “to pay a visit”. So, this phrase can be literally translated as “welcome to pay a visit”.
有会员卡吗? yǒu huìyuánkǎ ma? - Do you have a membership card?
The word 会员卡 huìyuánkǎ refers to “membership cards”, and it’s become quite common for chain stores to have membership options for their regular customers. 会员卡 huìyuánkǎ is digital, of course! It usually comes in WeChat mini-program, and will provide you with accumulated bonuses and freebies if you frequently shop at the same chain.
买一送一 mǎi yī sòng yī - Buy one get one (free)
Look out for this one! This promo will allow you to get 2 items at the price of one — say, two cups of coffee (often on Mondays). In case you miss the sign, the shop assistants will usually remind you if a promotion going on.
需要加热吗? xūyào jiārè ma? - Would you like me to heat it up (for you)?
Since many convenience store chains also sell ready-to-serve meals and snacks, this is a very common question the shop assistant might ask you.
You can say “yes” (需要, xūyào) and you’ll get your meal heated up in a microwave. Otherwise just say “no, thank you” (不需要, 谢谢 bù xūyào, xièxie).
And if you’d like to ask for this option yourself, use the keyword “to heat up” (加热, jiārè) —literally “to add-hot”.
需要袋子吗? xūyào dàizi ma? - Do you need a bag?
If the shop assistant sees you buying a few things, they might ask you if you need 袋子 dàizi — a bag. Recently, plastic bags have been replaced with non-woven fabric alternatives. Mind that in China, convenience stores charge money for bags for the purpose of environmental protection.
Popular Chinese Convenience Store Names
Family Mart (全家 quánjiā)
Lawson (罗森 luósēn)
C-store (喜士多 xī shìduō)
7-Eleven (7-11 qī shīyī / qī yāoyāo)
Bianlifeng (便利蜂 biànlì fēng)
JD convenience store (京东便利店 jīngdōng biànlìdiàn)