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Argentina – Retail and Consumer Issues

Argentina is a South American country known for its rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and vibrant cities. The country also has a bustling retail industry, with a wide range of shops, supermarkets, and malls. In this article, we will explore the retail and consumer issues in Argentina, 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 Argentina are open from 10 am to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday, with some shops closing earlier on Saturdays. On Sundays, many shops are closed, although some may be open in tourist areas or during the holiday season.

As for forms of payment, cash is widely accepted in Argentina, 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 Diners Club. It is always best to check before making a purchase.

Major Supermarkets in Argentina

There are several major supermarkets in Argentina, including Coto, Carrefour, Walmart, and Jumbo. Coto is the largest and most popular supermarket in the country, with hundreds of locations throughout Argentina.

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

Carrefour is another popular supermarket in Argentina, 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. Carrefour also has a loyalty program called “Mi Carrefour” that offers discounts and rewards to customers.


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Walmart is a global supermarket chain that has several locations in Argentina, including Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Mendoza. The supermarket offers a wide range of products at competitive prices, including fresh produce, meats, bakery items, and household essentials.

Jumbo is a smaller supermarket chain in Argentina, with several locations in Buenos Aires and other major cities. The supermarket offers a limited range of products, but prices are generally lower than at Coto and Carrefour.

Online Shopping in Argentina

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Argentina, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the most popular online shopping websites in Argentina include MercadoLibre, Garbarino, and Fravega.

MercadoLibre is a popular online marketplace in Argentina, similar to eBay or Amazon. The website offers a wide range of products, including electronics, clothing, and household essentials. MercadoLibre also offers a payment system called “MercadoPago” that allows customers to pay for their purchases using a variety of methods, including credit cards and bank transfers.

Garbarino and Fravega are two popular online retailers in Argentina that specialize in electronics and appliances. Both websites offer a wide range of products at competitive prices, and many products are eligible for free shipping.

Expat-Specific Shops in Argentina

There are several shops in Argentina that cater specifically to expats, including The Buenos Aires British Community Centre and The American Club of Buenos Aires. The Buenos Aires British Community Centre is located in Buenos Aires and offers a wide range of British products, including food, clothing, and household items.

The American Club of Buenos Aires is also located in Buenos Aires and offers a wide range of American products, including food, clothing, and household items. The club also offers social events and activities for expats living in Buenos Aires.

In addition to these expat-specific shops, many of the major supermarkets in Argentina also carry international products. Carrefour, for example, has a section dedicated to international products, including British, French, and Italian items. Walmart also carries a range of international products, including Asian, African, and European foods.

Consumer Rights in Argentina

As a consumer in Argentina, 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 10 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 Argentina, you can contact the National Directorate of Consumer Protection. 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 National Directorate of Consumer Protection by phone at 0800-666-1518 or by email at consultas@consumidor.gob.ar. You can also visit their website at https://www.argentina.gob.ar/produccion/defensadelconsumidor for more information and resources.

In addition to the National Directorate of Consumer Protection, there are also several consumer organizations in the country that can provide information and support to consumers. These include the Argentine Association of Consumer Defense (ADELCO) and the Consumer Defense Organization (ODECU). 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, Argentina offers a unique shopping experience for both locals and tourists, with a wide range of products, supermarkets, and online shopping options. Expats can also find specific international products in shops and supermarkets throughout the country. As a consumer in Argentina, 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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