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Market Structure, Growth and Competition in the Supermarket Sector in Latin America

25 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2015  

Juan Delgado

Global Economics Group

Date Written: September 3, 2015


Supermarkets play a limited but increasingly important role in Latin-America groceries retail markets. Traditional grocery retailers still play a substantial role in most Latin American countries and the penetration of supermarkets is still behind the developed countries. Paradoxically, within the supermarkets sector, concentration is high and a small number of large players are present in several countries. As personal income increases, the size of the middle class grows and the logistics and transport infrastructure develops, supermarkets are expected to expand further becoming the main gatekeeper for most grocery products. As supermarkets penetration increases, there is generally a process of transfer of market power from manufacturers and producers to retailers. In Latin America, producers and manufacturers still have substantial market power (and, consequently, bargaining power) in several product markets. However, recent cases and commercial practices show that such bargaining power is eroding in favour of large supermarket chains, changing the competitive dynamics of retail markets.

Keywords: Supermarkets, competition, antitrust, regulation, retailing, Latin America, emerging markets

JEL Classification: L11, L38, L4, L81, K21, O54

Suggested Citation

Delgado, Juan, Market Structure, Growth and Competition in the Supermarket Sector in Latin America (September 3, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Juan Delgado (Contact Author)

Global Economics Group ( email )

Calle Santa Engracia 46
Madrid, 28010


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