[slideshow_deploy id=’1771′] Costa Rica retail market offers stability and a level of maturity unlike any other central american country, except Panama. Costa Rica is a democratic republic with a very strong system of constitutional checks and balances and a dynamic economy. Economic output for 2010 grew at 4.25%, real per-capita income at PPP was estimated at $11,300. Commerce, tourism, and services represent 71% of GDP ( Hotels, restaurants, tourist services, banks, and insurance). Costa Rica is a preferred destination for foreign direct investment, particularly to leisure and retail related activities. Costa Rica retail market is a preferred destination for international retailers.
Costa Rica retail market has been characterised by aggressive competition.
As is the case in other countries in Central America, supermarkets in Costa Rica represent the the bulk of formal retail sector sales. Walmart leads the pack with 194 units as of October 31, 2011 (17 Maxi Bodega,25 Más X Menos, 6 Walmart Supercenter 6, and 146 Palí and is followed by Mega Super (82), Perimercados (58), and Automercado (13), and PriceSmart (5).There were 18 scheduled new supermarket store openings for 2010. To further strengthen their market share, supermarkets are increasing non-grocery product offerings, adding more clothing and entertainment items. Market players seek to retain customers and attract new ones with heavy discounting and promotions.
Costa Ricans increasingly hectic lifestyles are forcing them to seek for solutions that make life easier such as ready meals, dining out, and more trips to the supermarket and the mall. Costa Rica has a rich shopping center retail scene that features malls catering to different consumer tastes. International retailers operating in the country include Guess, Kenneth Cole, Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Payless, Quiznos, Subway, McDonalds, Liz Claiborne, Aeropostale, Nautica, Taco Bell, Burger King,, Pizza Hut and KFC. Gap recently announced it will bring its brands to Costa Rica.
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