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Old 06-04-2023, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Somewhere on the Moon.
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This is interesting from a Panamanian couple that visited Santo Domingo and unlike most tourists, they went to two local supermarkets to see how are the prices vs in Panama. This is their video in English. The products with English packaging 99% of the time are imports from the United States. Some American brands are made in the DR though, such as the Coca Cola's. Th4y also have a slight difference in taste from Coca Cola's sold in the USA, presumably because in the DR they use real sugar while in the USA they use high frutose syrup. Pricing dictates this, as sugar is cheaper than high frutose syrup in the DR, but the opposite is true in the USA.


https://youtu.be/fY_qlrsv1BM

Here is another one much more recent (the other one is from January 2023) at the Jumbo hypermarket in Santo Domingo Este. In this case it was done in English by a Dominican-Canadian couple.


https://youtu.be/ESq2NHQQRqY

That one was at this particular store.

Last edited by AntonioR; 06-04-2023 at 06:40 AM..
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Old 06-05-2023, 10:09 AM
 
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If you follow the Youtube channel of Amelia & JP in Ecuador, they have some videos where the prices at Ecuadorian (vs. American) supermarkets are mentioned.
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Old 06-06-2023, 05:51 PM
 
Location: That star on your map in the middle of the East Coast, DMV
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I just landed back in the US on Sunday. I was in the DR about 8 days, as I'm there frequently. In my experience grocery shopping there is reasonable as the prices in supermarkets are comparable or often cheaper for various products, but when it comes to electronics or appliances they are typically a bit more than US prices.

I try not to penny pinch, or even pay too much mind tallying up each thing I buy at the supermarkets there. Just checking my bank account online today, I'm seeing that I spent $135 US in Jumbo Puerto Plata last week on foods, but that didn't last me the whole trip and the 2nd time I went to Jumbo I paid cash. A good trip to the grocery store here in the US for me is above $200 regularly.
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Old 06-10-2023, 10:04 AM
 
Location: not where you are
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late summer -fall of 2022 I was in Peru, I found the prices to be quite a bit lower than what groceries cost in the US. On a more recent trip to Colombia I found the cost of groceries to be way less than what items go for in US markets, I rarely spent more than $40 a week including picking up items from bakeries.
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Old 06-13-2023, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Miami (prev. NY, Atlanta, SF, OC and San Diego)
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Haven’t really checked supermarket prices, but restaurant prices are at least 33% less expensive in Brazil.

I enjoy walking through supermarkets in Rio to check out the volumes of fruit on the shelves (Zona Sul, Hortifruti, Pao de Acucar Mercado)
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Old 10-12-2023, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Somewhere on the Moon.
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For the USA/Canada this isn't much of a novelty, but the DR's Sirena hypermarket chain and Sirena Market supermarket chain whivh target a mostly middle class clientele (Sirena Market is slightly more up market) are the first Dominican chains to get self-checkout machines. The Sirena Market in Lope de Vega Avecin Santo Domingo is the first store in the country to have this already installed and working. Eventually, all Sirena and Sirena Market stores will get them. Naturally, expect other Dominican companies to get the sane machines or similar ones too.


https://www.facebook.com/10006478383...jY5R21Bw3QK8l/

I'm not fully sure, but I think in the Caribbean several stores in Puerto Rico and maybe in Guadeloupe and Martinique already have them. They are also found in several countries Latin America.

It would be interesting to see how people use them at first. It looks so simple, but you will be surprised how the simplest things confuses people at first.
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Old 02-06-2024, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Somewhere on the Moon.
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Speaking of supermarkets in Latin America (although this is more of a hypermarket than a supermarket) a few days ago open Sirena in Barahona, Dominican Republic. This is exciting for the area for many reasons including:

- Creation of more formal jobs with everything they entail regarding additional benefits.
- Sign of progress considering this is the first modern hypermarket not just in Barahona, but in the entire "deep south" of the DR.
- If this store is successful, the competition will follow and that will simply improve the offer and variety of many products in Barahona, including some products that are exclusive of a particular store or chain.
- More sources of income for the government via taxes collected such as the sales tax.

Sirena is targetted more to the middle/lower middle class (some stores due to their location are more complete and they do an effort to target the upper middle class as well.) They have another chain called Aprezio which caters more to the lower middle and the poor, and these stores are only found in lower middle/poor neighborhoods.

The following is an amateur video taken at the new Sirena in Barahona. The place looks very active (considering new opening always attract a crowd and then dies down a little), which I wasn't expecting to see that there.

Obviously, the video is in Spanish, but everyone can get an idea of the place by looking at it.


https://youtu.be/7Mr4wMJmQrM?si=4fsY_tdCx1CzXl3k

From a logistic point of view this store could present a new challenge for the company. The warehouse that supplies the store is the furthest away from any Sirena store. Perhaps they will build a new warehouse in the southern region to cater to their future stores there if they plan to expand. The cheapest way to transport products is by truck, but there is a slight possibility (highly doubt it) it could be done by boat considering there is a port in Barahona and obviously ports in Santo Domingo.

These are satellite images from Google Earth of where is Barahona.



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Old 02-10-2024, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Somewhere on the Moon.
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Supposedly a new Price Smart will open in Santiago de los Caballeros and another one in La Romana, both in the Dominican Republic. This means Santiago de los Caballeros will have two Price Smart supermarkets and it will be the first in La Romana (and really in the eastern DR.)

For those not in the know, Price Smart is actually an American company but they only have stores in certain Central American & Caribbean countries plus Colombia that don’t have a Costco and have the conditions to support one or more of their stores. So you will notice that Price Smart is in countries such as Jamaica, Panama, Colombia, etc but not in Mexico or Puerto Rico where they have Costco stores or in Cuba or Venezuela where they have a different government policy (ie socialism). They are in Nicaragua, but I think those stores are from before Ortega et al became president. The company was founded by a group of former American employees in Costco in the USA and basically, developed the same business model in countries where Costco wasn’t in. They have built quite a nice fortune for the company since its founding in 1993, with a revenue that surpasses US$2 billion. It goes without saying that before 1993 it was worth the grand total of US$0 since it was a new creation and not necessarily constited of buying stores that already were there. Why did these former Costco employees not stay in their Costco jobs like most people that work for Walmart, Target, etc?

Anyway, despite all the company’s stores are outside the USA, the headquarters is in the USA; most or all of its founder live in the USA (probably have a higher standard of living than the average American given how much the company has grown in such a short time, certainly higher than the standard of livings of a typical American ex-employee of Costco.)
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Old 02-10-2024, 09:30 PM
 
Location: MD's Eastern Shore
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It's been a while (dang time flies) but I lived in Costa Rica for the most part from 2003 to 2011 and, though the prices were steadily rising, the last few years there it was more expensive then when I came back "home" to Ocean City, MD which is a major east coast tourist town. And I ate like a local for the most part. Now, if I had only had rice/beans and a chicken leg or sliver of fish it would have been cheaper. But one can say the same for here in the US as well. We can all cut back to save.

But, if anything was from the US, the price would have been considerably more. If I remember correctly, Costa Rica had (perhaps has) an import tax of about 50% so figure anything from the US was almost double the price.

So, it was when living there that I went "local" when I could to save money and that then transferred to buying store brands when returning here for most items.

I have been going to Colombia some recently and, again, it can be more expensive then the US. Depending on how you shop. But the last time I was there (22') it was considerably cheaper because the dollar was high against the Colombian Peso so using the Dollar amount as my mindset made everything cheap. The Dollar has since gone down but Colombia is still a good value when thinking in Dollars. I think that affects someone from the US (making Col a cheap destination) more then the locals as the prices really weren't much different when the dollar was high so it made no difference to them.

Now, if only my wife would figure out that buying stuff here to "save" a few bucks really costs a lot more money if her suitcases over weigh at the airport and she has to pay the overweight fee!
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Old 02-13-2024, 09:57 AM
 
Location: New Orleans
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The saving grace for budget-minded consumers in most LatAm countries are the markets where you can buy all of your fresh ingredients if you're willing to cook from scratch. I am sure the names change from country to country, but I know them as either "plazas del mercado", "minoristas" or "galerias". These used to be considered more viable for only working class people, but as inflation bites many of these countries, you're starting to see more middle and upper middle class folks shopping at these. Since I am now Stateside but go back to Colombia often, I still think of how much everything costs in pesos since I was paid in them for so many years-- that logic steers me away from supermarkets.

I can't fault anyone for continuing to pay far more in supermarkets, though. If packaged/imported groceries are a must on your weekly grocery list, there's no way you'll find everything making a run to a more traditional market. You'll probably have to buy from several stalls, and they won't be able to accept big bills because they may not have enough change for you. What you'll get in return though is fresh produce that has traveled less distances, and quite often contains less pesticides. You'll get in better shape because you're cooking almost entirely from scratch, and you have more control over what goes into your food. Economically, it serves as one of the "safety valves" that allows you to save big if you're willing to access a different lifestyle.

Does any Latin country have a direct answer to Wal Mart? When we first came to the US, my wife was amazed at how the quality and selection there was similar to Exito in Colombia, and yet the prices were lower than anywhere else. The big box stores in Colombia are generally pricier than most other options.
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