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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Hallmark: More Than Just Cheesy Greeting Cards
Gift-shopping in Cairo can be a bore, as we often end up with nothing. We look for that one shop that sells everything because it gets tiring to go gift-shopping and end up with nothing. Like few others, US greeting card giant Hallmark sells everything you could possibly need in terms of gifts, gift wrapping and greeting cards.
Located on the first floor of Citystars’ Phase 2 (just next to the food court), the shop is divided into two parts: the left side is mainly for kids and the right side includes gifts and home supplies. There are always items being added to the previous collections, so you’ll always find people running in and out. The staff are very friendly and will be there to help you find what you’re looking for.
Hallmark is best known for greeting cards, but the franchise has much more than that. Here, you will find products including party supplies, gifts, mugs (45LE), wrapping paper, ornaments, decorative items for your home, memory-keeping picture frames for 90LE, photo albums, scrapbooks and much more.
There are also a few useful items such as invitation cards for baby showers, specialised photo albums for weddings, and even baby books, a sort of collage book for photos and notes about the baby’s first months.
You will also find a kids’ section that includes newborn toddler portables (500LE), musical pop activity table (300LE), board games, PlayStation games, skateboards, school bags, animated watches and is filled with stuffed animals that range from 80LE to 175LE. There also is also a selection of DVDs for both kids and adults (175LE).
At Hallmark, you might also find random items that you wouldn’t expect to find at a gift shop, such as wallpaper and borders. So it is really shop worth checking out when you’re wandering around in City Stars.
At the shop’s entrance, you will find stuffed toys of the most recent cartoon characters in all kinds of sizes. Also, there is a huge section full of ’back to school‘ items like school bags, notebooks, cases, thermal bottles and flasks with cartoon characters like Hello Kitty and Ben Ten.
So whether it’s Christmas or your friend’s birthday, Hallmark is certainly the right shop to head to.
Gift Carnival has a variety of wrappers, bows, ribbons and such to make gifts as festive as possible and prices range according to size and amount of supplies used. . While they had a lot of plain balloons, the occasion-specific ones were out of stock, although you can also grab some helium balloons (8LE each). Gift bags are also available in surplus, with prices ranging about 10LE. Celebratory cards (12LE) are offered in great variety, many of which were simple and appealing, without being too tacky or fussy.
Apart from gift accessories, you may also find the gift itself while roaming the shop. A definite highlight, and one of the nicest items we’ve seen around, were porcelain travel mugs (100LE) in a range of vibrant colours and patterns.
The shop also carries lightweight storage pieces - essentially a straw chest of drawers - at a very steep price of 790LE; single baskets are also available, most useful for storing small items and knickknacks. Interestingly, the Gift Carnival had quite the selection of scarves claiming to be Burberry and Gucci, at 100LE to 150LE.
Other household items include candles; a large one was discounted from 260LE to 130LE, while scented candles come at a much more reasonable price between 20LE and 40LE. Gift Carnival also has a range of kitchen utensils such as egg whiskers, cheese graters, cheese knives and vegetable peelers – all around 20LE each.
If you’re looking to decorate your Christmas tree, the shop also has a bunch of tree ornaments available. Though not very exciting or unique, a box of large round ornaments, with two per packet, costs 25LE.
The knickknacks are endless at Gift Carnival. Louis Vuitton inspired lighters, refrigerator magnets, decorative boxes, pillows, stuffed animals, there appears to be no restricted theme.
If you’re looking to wrap a gift or buy a helium balloon than Gift Carnival is likely a good stop.