Morocco - Domestic trade

Consumer-ready products are freely traded by the private sector through companies that distribute them to wholesalers, distributors, or directly to retailers. The government intervenes directly in domestic trade through price subsidies at the retail level for staples such as flour, vegetable oil, and sugar. As of 1996, the government planned to phase out these subsidies over a five-year period in order to avoid social unrest. Support prices, once a major incentive to promoting government-supported crops, have been eliminated.

Casablanca, the chief port, is the commercial center of Morocco. Other principal distribution centers include Safi, Agadir, and Tangier. Wet markets are open-air produce markets common in rural and urban areas. Central markets are found in major cities and contain many small shops selling mainly domestic products. Numerous family-operated grocery outlets are scattered throughout the country and are where food products are typically sold in Morocco. There are also about 70 supermarkets in major metropolitan areas; over half of them are in Casablanca and Rabat. Retail establishments include department stores in the main cities and shops and specialty stores. Bazaars cater especially to the tourist trade. The first franchise, Pizza Hut, was established in 1992. There are now about 85 franchise firms in the country offering a wide variety of goods and services. Principal advertising media are newspapers, motion picture theaters, radio, television, and posters.

Business hours are generally from 9 AM to noon and from 3 to 6 PM , but some shops stay open much later. Banks are open from 8:15 to 11:30 AM and 2:15 to 4:30 PM , Monday–Friday.

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