The struggles of the Argentine economy have been well-documented in recent years, and while there are some positive signs, the data and projections are far from unequivocal.
In fact, it appears that positive numbers are equally counterbalanced (or surpassed by) negative numbers. For example, in August 2021 Argentine president Alberto Fernandez projected 7% growth for Argentina’s economy in 2021 and 4.5% growth in 2022, which is more optimistic than the OECD’s projection of 6.1% growth in GDP during 2021 and 1.8% growth in 2022. Despite the projected 2021 growth, there’s another factor to consider: the poverty rate in Argentina increased from 35% to 42% during 2020, according to a report published in August 2021 from the Instituto para el Desarrollo Social Argentino (Institute for Argentine Social Development).
2021 Latin America Outlook
Which countries and industries will recover first—and why
When it comes to retail, there are similar mixed developments: in June 2021 there was an 11.4% increase (relative to June 2020) in retail sales, according to the Confederación Argentina de la Mediana Empresa (Argentine Confederation of Medium-Sized Businesses or CAME). However, it’s important to note that the June 2021 sales figures were 10.6% lower than those of the same period in 2019.
In the midst of these mixed numbers, the growth of certain sectors does seem to provide some reasons for optimism (or perhaps opportunities) and with that in mind, below we detail the top-selling products in Argentina in 2021.
#1: Clothing, Footwear and Leather Goods
In July 2021, sales of clothing, lingerie and accessories in Argentina went up by 29.4% year-on-year, according to CAME. In addition, sales of footwear and leather goods went up by 21.3% in the same period. However, CAME did not specify the overall value of these markets.
That said, the sales uptick in this sector seems to have come from mall sales. As of March 2021, there were clothing/footwear/leather goods sales of 7.9 million Argentine pesos (USD $82,000), which in turn represents purchases made by 38.4% of Argentina shoppers in malls, according to a national survey of malls done by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (National Institute of Statistics and Census or INDEC).
Sales of toys in Argentina increased by 23.2% during the first half of 2021 versus the same period in 2020, according to the Cámara Argentina de la Industria del Juguete (Argentina Chamber of the Toy Industry).
Beyond this general increase, there have been spikes with specific types of toys in Argentina:
- 254% increase in card-based toys
- 453% increase in dolls
- 189% increase in toy cars
As of March 2021, the Argentina toy market had reached total sales of 20.7 billion Argentine pesos (US$218 million) in malls all over Argentina, according to INDEC.
Sales of TVs went up by 77.8% in Argentina during Q2 2021 to reach 335 million units, according to INDEC. The most popular types of TVs among Argentines are LED TVs, smart TVs, LCD TVs and plasma TVs.
#4 Mobile Phones
Sales of mobile phones went up by 126.8% in Argentina in Q2 2021 (compared to the same period in 2020), according to INDEC. More than 553,000 total units were sold in that period, generating total sales of 5.8 billion Argentina pesos (US$59.8 million).
#5 Cars and Motorcycles
Compared to the first half of 2020, car sales went up by 37% in Argentina during the first half of 2021. It’s projected that more than 400,000 new cars will be sold in Argentina in 2021 — though this is significantly lower than the 459,592 vehicles sold in 2019, before the pandemic.
Motorcycle sales in Argentina went up by more than 50% between January and July 2021 (compared to the same period in 2020) to reach a total of more than 206,000. The Cámara de Fabricantes de Motovehículos (Chamber of Motorcycle Manufacturers) projects that 2021 motorcycle sales in Argentina will reach 360,000 (around 30% below normal sales levels) and that market recovery will be more evident in 2022, when the Chamber projects that more than 500,000 motorcycles will be sold in Argentina.
6 Megatrends in Latin America Payments for 2021 and Beyond
How to leverage the large-scale changes in the market
Contact us if you’re interested in further market research about the consumer market in Argentina or other countries. Over the past 30 years we’ve conducted more than 600 consumer market research studies for Latin America. These include market landscape studies, opportunity benchmarking, competitive intelligence and more.