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Portugal – Retail and Consumer Issues

Portugal is a country in southern Europe with a diverse retail industry. In this article, we will discuss typical opening hours of shops, forms of payment accepted, major supermarkets in Portugal, online shopping popularity, expat-specific shops, and consumer rights.

Typical opening hours of shops in Portugal and forms of payment accepted

Most shops in Portugal are open from Monday to Saturday between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm, with some staying open until later at night. On Sundays, shops are generally closed, although some small shops and markets may be open for a few hours.

As for forms of payment, most shops in Portugal accept both cash and credit card payments. Some shops also accept mobile payments, such as MB Way and Google Pay.

Major Supermarkets in Portugal and differences between them

There are several major supermarket chains in Portugal, with the two biggest ones being Continente and Pingo Doce.

Continente is a supermarket chain owned by the Portuguese company Sonae, with over 300 stores throughout Portugal. It is known for its wide range of products, including fresh produce and meat, as well as its competitive prices.

Pingo Doce is a supermarket chain owned by the Jerónimo Martins Group, with over 400 stores throughout Portugal. It is known for its focus on quality products, including fresh produce and meat, as well as its loyalty program, which offers discounts and rewards to frequent shoppers.


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Online shopping popularity and main websites

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Portugal, with more and more people opting to shop online instead of in physical stores. Some of the most popular online shopping websites in Portugal include:

  • Continente: This website is the online version of the Continente supermarket chain, offering a wide range of products, including groceries, electronics, and household items.

  • Pingo Doce: This website is the online version of the Pingo Doce supermarket chain, offering a range of products, including groceries, electronics, and household items.

  • Fnac: This website specializes in electronics, books, and other cultural products.

Shops in Portugal specifically for expats and finding international products

There are several shops in Portugal specifically for expats, catering to their specific needs and tastes. Some of these shops include:

  • El Corte Inglés: This department store has several stores throughout Portugal and offers a range of international products, including food, drinks, and household items.

  • A Vida Portuguesa: This shop specializes in traditional Portuguese products, including ceramics, soaps, and textiles.

  • Specialty Food Shops: There are several specialty food shops in major cities in Portugal that offer a range of international products, including cheeses, meats, and gourmet foods.

For finding specific international products, expats can also try visiting ethnic food stores or online retailers, such as Global Foods or World Market, which offer a range of products from different countries.

Consumer rights and contact details of main consumer organizations in Portugal

Consumers in Portugal have several rights that are protected by law. These include the right to a refund, the right to a replacement product or service, and the right to cancel a contract within a certain time period.

If consumers have a complaint or dispute with a business, they can contact the Portuguese Consumer Protection Association (DECO). DECO is responsible for enforcing consumer protection laws and can provide assistance and support to consumers who have been mistreated by businesses. Consumers can file a complaint with DECO online or by visiting one of their offices throughout the country.

In addition to DECO, there are several consumer organizations in Portugal that can provide information and assistance to consumers. Some of the main organizations include:

  • National Authority for Consumer Protection (ASAE): This organization is responsible for enforcing consumer protection laws and can impose fines or sanctions on businesses that violate these laws.

    • Consumer Ombudsman: This is an independent organization that provides free legal advice and representation to consumers who have a complaint or dispute with a business.

    • Portuguese Consumer Union (UCP): This organization represents the interests of consumers in Portugal and provides information and support to consumers who have been mistreated by businesses.

    Consumers can contact these organizations by phone, email, or through their websites for assistance with consumer-related issues.

    In conclusion, the retail industry in Portugal offers a diverse range of shopping experiences and products for consumers. Most shops are open from Monday to Saturday between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm, with some staying open until later at night. The major supermarket chains in Portugal are Continente and Pingo Doce, each with their own unique selling points. Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, with websites like Continente, Pingo Doce, and Fnac offering a wide range of products. For expats, there are shops specifically catering to their needs, as well as specialty food shops and online retailers. Consumers in Portugal have several rights that are protected by law and can seek assistance and information from organizations such as DECO, ASAE, the Consumer Ombudsman, and the Portuguese Consumer Union.


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