Shopping is typically limited to handicrafts in South Tarawa and London, while essentials can be purchased at fruit and vegetable markets. The locals churn out a range of art such as basketry and necklaces, while shark swords make excellent Kiribati souvenirs. You can haggle, but keep in mind that they don’t earn much. Most shops are open daily.
There’s a supermarket on Bairiki islet in South Tarawa where most people stock up on all their regular groceries. It has both fresh and frozen foods as well as dairy and fruit and is open every day. Fern is another popular shop in Tarawa, which is good for pies and wine.
There are several handicraft shops on South Tarawa where everything from basic baskets and fans made from pandanus leaves are sold, to coconut shells, seashell necklaces, model canoes, and traditional huts. The Kiribati shark-tooth sword—which has sharks teeth embedded in decorated coconut wood—is the prize item, though most are copies. Try the RAK Handicraft Centre (Tangintebu, Tarawa) or the Itoiningaina Handicraft Center (Teaoraereke, Tarawa) for more authentic varieties.