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Italy – Retail and Consumer Issues

In Italy, shops and supermarkets usually open from 9 am to 1 pm and then from 3 pm to 7:30 pm from Monday to Saturday. Some shops may close for a couple of hours during lunchtime, especially in smaller towns. On Sundays, most shops are closed except for some tourist areas or larger cities.

When it comes to payment methods, cash is widely accepted in Italy, but most shops and supermarkets also accept credit and debit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, and Maestro.

Major Supermarkets in Italy

The major supermarket chains in Italy include Coop, Esselunga, Conad, Carrefour, and Auchan. Each of them has a wide range of products, but prices may vary depending on the location and the size of the store. Some of them offer loyalty programs that provide discounts or benefits to customers who frequently shop with them.

Coop is a large chain with stores all over Italy. They offer a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. They also have an online store where customers can order groceries for home delivery.

Esselunga is another major supermarket chain with stores mostly located in northern Italy. They offer a variety of products, including fresh produce, meat, and bakery items. They also have their own brand of products and a loyalty program that provides discounts and benefits to customers.

Conad is a cooperative of independent stores that operate under the Conad brand. They offer a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meat, and bakery items. They also have their own brand of products and a loyalty program that provides discounts and benefits to customers.


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Carrefour and Auchan are international supermarket chains with stores located in various parts of Italy. They offer a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. They also have their own brand of products and a loyalty program that provides discounts and benefits to customers.

Online Shopping in Italy

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Italy, and many major retailers have online stores where customers can order groceries, clothing, electronics, and other products. Some of the most popular online shopping websites in Italy include Amazon, eBay, and Zalando.

In addition, there are several grocery delivery services available in Italy, such as Coop Online and Esselunga a Casa, which allow customers to order groceries online and have them delivered to their homes.

Shops for Expats in Italy

There are several shops in Italy that cater specifically to expats, offering international products that may not be readily available in Italian supermarkets. Some of these shops include:

  • Castroni: a gourmet food store with several locations in Rome that sells international foods, such as British teas, American cereals, and Japanese snacks.
  • Il Negozio: a store in Florence that sells products from around the world, including American candy, British tea, and French cheeses.
  • Punto Simply: a supermarket chain that offers a wide range of international products, including Asian, African, and South American foods.

Consumer Rights in Italy

In Italy, consumers have several rights when it comes to buying goods and services. These rights are protected by the Consumer Code, which is a set of laws that govern consumer transactions in Italy. Some of the key consumer rights in Italy include:

  • The right to clear and transparent information about the products and services being offered
  • The right to fair and non-discriminatory pricing
  • The right to cancel a purchase within 14 days of receiving the goods
  • The right to repairs, replacements, or refunds for faulty products
  • The right to a minimum warranty period of 2 years for most goods

If you have any issues or complaints as a consumer in Italy, you can contact several consumer organizations that can provide advice and support. Here are some of the main consumer organizations in Italy:

  • Codacons: This is one of the largest consumer organizations in Italy, offering advice, information, and legal support for consumer issues. They also run several campaigns and initiatives to protect consumer rights in Italy. Contact information: https://www.codacons.it/contatti/

  • Altroconsumo: This is a non-profit consumer organization that provides information, advice, and support for consumer issues in Italy. They also publish several magazines and online resources to help consumers make informed choices. Contact information: https://www.altroconsumo.it/contatti

  • Federconsumatori: This is another consumer organization in Italy that provides advice, information, and support for consumer issues. They also run several campaigns and initiatives.


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