Tips for Success for Shopping in Accra Stores

There are a few tips about shopping that you should keep in mind:

Hours of operation vary considerably, but most shops and stores are open between 9 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday, with some from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturdays. Only a few shops, and the larger grocery stores and shopping malls are open on Sundays, usually from noon or 1 pm to 6 pm.

Informal markets, on the other hand, are generally open earlier and stay open later, and some may be open on Sundays and holidays. Many sellers do their best business in the early hours, especially if they're fresh food sellers.

Addresses and telephone numbers for shops and stores are produced when available. However, many good shops are without phones, and some streets don't have names. In these cases, directions are provided in this guide to help you find your way around. You never know when a shop might just close down. At press time, all of the information in this section, including every phone number, was verified, but these conditions can change rapidly. If you find a store closed when going shopping, try another time. The attendant might have just gone out temporarily.

Never expect to find everything you need in one or even two shops. Many stops will be necessary in order to complete your errands. When a product is available, buy it. You never know when shops may run out of products. Check the freshness of products.

Although it is illegal to sell out of date products, freshness might be questionable, either because of the heat or a power failure for frozen goods. This is especially true of biscuits, cereal or flour which sometimes turns out to be stale or full of weavils. Most of the larger grocery shops will heavily discount soonto- be expiring goods, so if you're "comfortable" with an item that is quickly approaching it's "sell by" date (which may not necessarily mean it's no longer "good,") buy them up in bulk.

It also pays to shop around in terms of prices, as the price of the same item can vary greatly from store to store. Moreover, you should expect to pay substantially more for imported products. Larger size containers often come with larger price by quantity. Read price stickers carefully!

If you're not intimidated by crowds and traffic, and you've got help to carry bargains, consider shopping at the Makola market in Accra Central. The same "expensive" imported items you buy at the grocery stores had to come from somewhere, and Makola is that somewhere. Savings can be as much as 60-70% less than the retail price for things like imported juice boxes (CapriSun), snack foods (Pringles, Lays chips, etc.) and more.

Local "cash and carry," beverage depots and cold stores are all open to the public. Items are bought in bulk or crates, and savings can be substantial. Coca Cola depots stock glass bottled minerals (you need to buy the bottles as they're refillable), as well as plastic (disposable) bottles of Coca-cola products (Diet Coke, too), and Minute Maid juices and Dasani water products. Local beer can also be bought by the crate from small shops (again, you buy the glass bottles – look for the stack of crates to find a convenient location). Cold store facilities often stock imported chicken breasts, whole chickens and chicken parts, large bags of frozen French fries, imported fish, etc. and are the same brands sold in the big supermarkets in Accra.


Last modified on Monday, 08 August 2011 22:06