(28 Nov 2019) An ailing economy and tougher US sanctions hasn’t stopped the Cuban government from trying to meet high consumer demand.
Authorities have pushed new stores offering more items for homes and businesses, curtailing the need to send “mules” to foreign markets for goods and giving residents more options to meet their needs.
Gleaming new markets like “Four Roads,” near the Port of Havana, attract huge crowds of shoppers looking for bargains and household goods that can be hard to find in state stores.
Hundreds of shoppers flock to the market daily, the latest of its kind the government has placed in neighborhoods poorly served in the past, bringing relief to consumers who had to spend hours searching in other areas of the city for consumer products.
Long lines and packed stores show the popularity and success of the effort so far, but some worry the supplies might not last as the country grapples with a difficult economic situation.
New electronic appliances from Korea and the United Arab Emirates as well as motorbikes are flooding the island with consumers rushing to buy in the holiday season, even at prices usually far out of reach of the average consumer.
And with the holidays just around the corner bringing friends and family members from abroad to visit their relatives on the island, the new stores are giving customers the means to celebrate with style.
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