Managua is the principal trading and distribution center and all importers and exporters have offices there. Exporters, except those concerned with cotton, coffee or lumber, are usually importers also. Managua has a variety of retail establishments, including department stores and numerous general stores; many small shops are in private homes. Managua also has a central market to which merchants come daily with all types of produce and domestic and imported consumer goods. As of 2002, there were about 25 foreign franchises within the country. Retail sales are mainly for cash. Price controls apply to pharmaceuticals, sugar, domestically produced soft drinks, national cigarettes, and liquefied natural gas.
The usual business hours are from 8 AM to noon and from 2:30 to 5:30 PM , Monday through Friday, with a half-day on Saturday. Banking hours are from 8:30 AM to noon and from 2 to 4 PM on weekdays; from 8:30 to 11:30 AM on Saturday.