Uruguay - Selling and buying
Reaching the consumers
The consumer's principal criteria are safety, efficiency and discretion. Nevertheless, he doesn't hesitate to take risks when it comes to food, hygiene products or cleaning products.
High, medium high and medium class households invest most of their money in furniture acquisition, accessories, leisure time and education. Lower class households focus more on satisfaction of their basic needs, food products mostly.
Touristic centers have the specificity of having a luxurious consumption. The average consumer is characterized by its conservative behavior.
Traditional distribution networks are small shops, rather family businesses spread out all around the country. The image of a wholesaler is unlikely and the big distribution is dominated by importers-distributors delivering big retail chains and smaller retailers. The market of big distribution is composed by this 3 players: Disco, Devoto et Tienda Inglesa. There is only one superstore, Géant Casino, owned by the French same called group.
Industrial semi finished or finished goods is operated by distributor agents (no specialized distribution chain)
Franchising starts being used in Uruguay.
Multinationals own 75% of big retail chains. The Dico-Devoto is the largest since they own the "Disco" supermarkets (27 stores), "Devoto" (25 stores) and the superstore "Geant".
In terms of importance, these three are followed by the group "Henderson & Cia" with the "Tienda Inglesa" chain (9 stores), the "Multiahorro" chain (30 medium retail stores), "Ta-Ta" (20 small and medium stores), "El Dorado" chain from the "Polakof & Cia" mainly located in the countryside (40 stores, supermarkets and small retail stores)
Market access procedures
Uruguay is a member of the MERCOSUR (Mercado Comun del Sur, gathering Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay and Uruguay), aimed at creating a free trade zone, a common external tariff and a free circulation zone for goods, services, capitals and persons. Customs duties between member countries were theoretically abolished in 1994, with nevertheless a lot of exceptions, according to the "adaptation regime" (Regimen de adecuacion).
The common external tariff (CET) does ot concern all products, currently: only 75% of the tariff lines benefit from a single tariff. The goods still outside the system, for the 4 countries are: equipment goods, IT, telecommunications, cars and sugar sectors.