San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica businesses prepare for Black Friday

Local businesses are preparing for the celebration of Black Friday this week, which like in the United States means deep discounts and promotional pricing for shoppers.

A year ago, the Finance Ministry said online shopping would be taxed, despite exemptions being applied in previous years. Those exemptions had helped Tico consumers develop “Black Friday fever,” a result of U.S. shoppers who have made the day after Thanksgiving holiday the biggest shopping day of the year. Now, with taxes being applied to online purchases, many Costa Rican stores are running discounts of their own.

Several stores also announced special hours for Nov. 23. Grupo Roble – which owns Multiplaza malls – announced that mall hours will be from 8 a.m. until midnight on Friday. Last year during Black Friday, more than 186,000 shoppers perused Multiplaza malls in Escazú, southwest of the capital, and in Zapote, in eastern San José.

Hotels owners in the southern Pacific port city of Golfito, where a Duty-Free Shopping Zone is located, reported having nearly all rooms booked for the weekend, thanks to a promotional “Black Friday Weekend” of 72 hours of discounts, starting Friday.

The Social Protection Council of San José (JPS) also announced a special Black Friday lottery drawing to be held for the second year.

First prize is ₡115 million ($230,000) for a full winning ticket. Second prize is ₡45 million ($90,000), and third prize is ₡20 million ($40,000).

JPS sells full sets of tickets for ₡7,000 ($14) and individual tickets at ₡700 ($1.50).

Black Friday began as a tradition in the U.S. to mark the day that shoppers usually begin buying for the Christmas season.

Contact L. Arias at

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