Opportunities and Strategies to Maximize Development Impact of the Expansion of Supermarket Chains in Latin America

This paper reviews the literature analyzing the impact of supermarket expansion in developed and developing economies, with an emphasis on productivity, competition and market structure, employment and wages, cost of living, local supply chains, and the regulatory environment. It also includes an analysis of supermarket and household surveys in selected Latin American countries, as well as an assessment of recent trends in online grocery retail.

Supermarket expansion may lead to increased competition and lower prices for consumers and might provide local producers with incentives to acquire better production practices and meet more stringent requirements.

These benefits notwithstanding, there may be negative effects on local small businesses, particularly family-owned enterprises, as well as on producers and distributors. Based on these conclusions, policy recommendations for Latin American countries aiming at expanding the supermarket sector are discussed.

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