About 65% of the total national sales of consumer goods occurs in Panama City. The cities of David, Colón, Santiago, and Chitre sponsor nearly all of the rest. Marketing and distribution are generally on a small scale, with direct merchant-to-customer sales. Some wholesalers also act as retailers. Many shops in Panama City and Colón sell both native handicrafts and imported goods. Luxury items are generally untaxed in order to attract tourist sales. There are also US-style variety stores. In rural districts, agricultural products and meat are sold at markets. A 5% value-added tax applies to most goods and services.
The usual business hours are 8 AM to 5 PM , Monday through Friday; and 8 AM to noon on Saturday. Government offices are open weekdays from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM , Monday through Friday. Banking hours in Panamanian urban centers are generally from 8:00 AM to 3 PM , Monday through Friday, and most banks are open on Saturdays from 9 AM to 12 noon.