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Antigua and Barbuda – Retail and Consumer Issues

Antigua and Barbuda is a small island nation located in the Caribbean Sea. The country is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and tax-free shopping. In this article, we will explore the retail and consumer issues in Antigua and Barbuda, including typical opening hours, forms of payment, major supermarkets, online shopping, expat-specific shops, and consumer rights.

Typical Opening Hours and Forms of Payment

Most shops in Antigua and Barbuda are open from 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday, with some shops closing earlier on Saturdays. On Sundays, many shops are closed, although some souvenir shops may be open in tourist areas.

As for forms of payment, cash is widely accepted in Antigua and Barbuda, but credit cards are also commonly used. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards in the country, although some shops may also accept American Express and Discover. It is always best to check before making a purchase.

Major Supermarkets in Antigua and Barbuda

There are several major supermarkets in Antigua and Barbuda, including Epicurean, First Choice, and Jolly’s. Epicurean is the largest and most popular supermarket in the country, with several locations throughout Antigua.

Epicurean offers a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meats, bakery items, and household essentials. Prices at Epicurean are generally considered to be higher than at other supermarkets in Antigua and Barbuda, but the quality of the products is excellent.

First Choice is another popular supermarket in Antigua and Barbuda, with several locations throughout the country. The supermarket offers a wide range of products at competitive prices, including fresh produce, meats, bakery items, and household essentials. First Choice also has a loyalty program called “Club First” that offers discounts and rewards to customers.


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Jolly’s is a smaller supermarket chain in Antigua and Barbuda, with two locations on the island. The supermarket offers a limited range of products, but prices are generally lower than at Epicurean and First Choice.

Online Shopping in Antigua and Barbuda

Online shopping is not as popular in Antigua and Barbuda as in other countries, but it is becoming increasingly popular among tourists. Some of the most popular online shopping websites in Antigua and Barbuda include Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

Amazon.com offers a wide range of products, including books, electronics, clothing, and household essentials. The website offers shipping to Antigua and Barbuda, although shipping times may be longer than in other countries.

Walmart.com offers a similar range of products to Amazon.com and also offers shipping to Antigua and Barbuda. Prices at Walmart.com are generally lower than at local supermarkets, but shipping costs may be higher.

Expat-Specific Shops in Antigua and Barbuda

There are several shops in Antigua and Barbuda that cater specifically to expats, including The Best of Books and Gourmet Basket. The Best of Books is located in St. John’s and offers a wide range of books, including international bestsellers and books on local culture and history.

Gourmet Basket is also located in St. John’s and offers a wide range of international food products, including British, American, and Asian items. The shop also offers catering services for events and parties.

In addition to these expat-specific shops, many of the major supermarkets in Antigua and Barbuda also carry international products. Epicurean, for example, has a section dedicated to international products, including British, French, and Italian items. First Choice also carries a range of international products, including Italian, Asian, and South American foods.

Consumer Rights in Antigua and Barbuda

As a consumer in Antigua and Barbuda, you have several rights that are protected by law. These include the right to a refund or exchange if a product is faulty or not as described, the right to cancel a purchase within 14 days of receiving the product, and the right to a warranty on certain products.

If you have a complaint about a product or service in Antigua and Barbuda, you can contact the Consumer Affairs Division. This government agency is responsible for protecting the rights of consumers in the country and can provide information and assistance on a wide range of consumer issues.

You can contact the Consumer Affairs Division by phone at (268) 562-1123 or by email at consumeraffairs@ab.gov.ag. You can also visit their website at https://www.ab.gov.ag/ for more information and resources.

In addition to the Consumer Affairs Division, there are also several consumer organizations in the country that can provide information and support to consumers. These include the Antigua and Barbuda Consumers Association (ABCA) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Consumer Protection Commission. These organizations can provide information on your consumer rights, as well as advice and support in the event of a dispute with a company or service provider.

In conclusion, Antigua and Barbuda offers a unique shopping experience for both locals and tourists, with tax-free shopping, a wide range of products, and several major supermarkets. Online shopping is not as popular in the country as in other countries, but it is becoming increasingly popular among tourists. As a consumer in Antigua and Barbuda, you have several rights that are protected by law, and there are several organizations and government agencies that can provide information and support in the event of a dispute or complaint.


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