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Greece – Retail and Consumer Issues

Greece is a country located in southeastern Europe, known for its rich history, beautiful islands, and vibrant culture. It has a population of around 10 million people and a diverse economy that includes tourism, shipping, and agriculture. In this article, we will explore the retail and consumer issues in Greece, including opening hours, forms of payment, major supermarkets, online shopping, shops for expats, and consumer rights.

Opening Hours and Forms of Payment

Typical opening hours of shops in Greece are from 9 am to 2 pm, and then from 5 pm to 9 pm, from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays, most shops are open from 9 am to 3 pm, and on Sundays, most shops are closed. However, it is advisable to check the opening hours of individual shops as they may vary depending on the location and type of store.

Forms of payment accepted in Greece include cash, debit and credit cards, and some shops may also accept mobile payments. Contactless payments are also becoming more common in Greece.

Major Supermarkets in Greece

There are several major supermarkets in Greece, including AB Vassilopoulos, Sklavenitis, and Lidl. AB Vassilopoulos is one of the largest supermarket chains in Greece, with over 400 stores across the country. Sklavenitis is another popular supermarket chain that offers a range of products, including fresh produce, meat, and household items. Lidl is a German discount supermarket chain that offers a range of products at low prices.

The differences between these supermarkets mainly relate to the prices of the products they offer. AB Vassilopoulos and Sklavenitis are known for their quality products but can be more expensive, while Lidl is known for its low prices.

Online Shopping

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Greece, with several websites offering a wide range of products. Amazon is one of the most popular online marketplaces in Greece, offering a range of products from electronics to fashion. Skroutz is another popular online shopping website in Greece, offering a range of products, including electronics, home appliances, and fashion.

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Other online shopping websites in Greece include E-shop, which offers a range of products, including electronics, fashion, and beauty products, and Notos, which offers fashion and beauty products.

Shops for Expats

There are several shops in Greece specifically for expats, offering international products and services. These include:

  • Carrefour: a French supermarket chain that offers a range of products, including groceries and household items.
  • IKEA: a Swedish furniture retailer that offers a range of furniture and home decor products.
  • Marks & Spencer: a British store that offers a range of international products, including clothing, food, and home decor.

Consumer Rights

Consumers in Greece have a number of rights, including the right to:

  • Safety: products should be safe to use and not pose a risk to health.
  • Information: consumers have the right to accurate information about products and services.
  • Choice: consumers have the right to choose from a range of products and services.
  • Redress: consumers have the right to seek compensation if a product or service is faulty or does not meet their expectations.

The Hellenic Consumer Center is the main government agency responsible for consumer protection in Greece. It enforces consumer protection laws and regulations, investigates complaints, and imposes sanctions on companies that violate consumer rights. Consumers can file complaints with the Hellenic Consumer Center through its website or by visiting its office.

In addition to the Hellenic Consumer Center, there are several consumer organizations in Greece that provide information and support to consumers. These include:

  • Consumer Association: an independent organization that provides information and support to consumers on a range of issues, including consumer rights and protection.

    • Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE): a business organization that works to protect the rights of consumers and businesses in Greece.
    • Hellenic Association of Consumer Protection: a non-profit organization that provides education and support to consumers on their rights and how to protect them.

    Consumers can also seek legal advice and representation from lawyers specializing in consumer protection issues. The Athens Bar Association is the largest association of lawyers in Greece and can provide a list of lawyers specializing in consumer protection.

    In conclusion, Greece offers a range of retail options, including major supermarkets, online shopping, and shops for expats. Consumers in Greece have a number of rights and protections, including the right to safety, information, choice, and redress. The Hellenic Consumer Center and consumer organizations provide support and enforcement of these rights, and consumers can also seek legal advice and representation if needed. By understanding their rights and taking advantage of the available resources, consumers can make informed decisions and protect themselves from fraudulent or harmful practices in the retail industry.