Stores and Shopping Hours

shopping bags
Photo by Angela Roma from Pexels.
Types of Stores

There are many different places where you can buy things in NL. The most common are:

Department Stores

Department stores sell a wide variety of things like clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics, toiletries, toys, sporting goods, durable food items, etc. The products are grouped by type in store sections (departments). Department stores commonly have central customer checkout areas, generally in the front area of the store, and are usually part of a large retail chain.

  • Discount stores sell items at lower than regular prices. Sometimes they are large high-volume low-profit chain retailers, sometimes outlets that sell goods which regular stores could not sell for a long time, and sometimes they carry products with slight defects.
  • So-called ‘dollar stores’ are retailers that carry only a variety of inexpensive items. They sometimes have a fixed price for all items in the store.
  • A ‘second-hand shop’ sells items that are not new. These shops are often operated by charities for the purpose of fundraising – people donate things they no longer need, and the store sells them to collect money for the charity.

Shopping Malls

Shopping malls are large buildings with a variety of individual stores located inside. Prominent shopping malls in the St. John’s CMA are: The Avalon Mall on Kenmount Rd., and the Village Mall on Topsail Rd.

Specialty Stores

Specialty stores sell a certain group of products, like a music store or gardening supplies store, or a certain product line. In NL there are specialty stores selling furniture, electronics, shoes, clothing, tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, office supplies, pets and pet supplies, flowers, books, just to mention a few.

Drug stores are common specialty stores. Their main department is usually a pharmacy, but they also sell cosmetics, toiletries, cleaning supplies, some food products, magazines, etc.

Maverick Sports & Collectibles in St. John’s, NL. Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels.

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores or supermarkets, besides offering a variety of foods like fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy products, bakery items and processed food, usually also sell toiletries, cleaning supplies and other household goods. Some grocery stores have additional departments with goods or services, such as a clothing department, a post office or a pharmacy.

Farmers’ Markets

Farmers’ markets in NL sell locally grown fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers, meat and fish, also eggs, cheese and other food products. At these markets, one can often find local artisans selling their goods, as well as food vendors selling cooked food. Farmers’ markets are usually only open on Saturdays. In summer months there are more farmers’ markets and some operate on additional days of the week.

Convenience Stores

Convenience stores are small stores selling a limited variety of food items, household goods, newspapers, lottery tickets, tobacco products, etc. They are usually located in or close to your neighbourhood and open longer hours for your convenience. However, these stores often charge higher prices than larger stores.

Marie’s Mini Mart in St. John’s, NL. Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels.
Buying Used Items

Besides second-hand shops, used items can be bought at some regular stores (for example, video games), or at flea markets and private sales. You can usually barter prices at flea markets or private sales, and they are great for finding collectables or old items that are no longer being produced and can not be found in stores.

Flea markets, usually held on Sundays, are places where people come to buy, sell or trade previously used items. For a small fee, anybody can set up a sales booth. Some vendors sell new items too.

Garage or yard sales are held in people’s garages or yards, usually on Saturday mornings. They are sometimes advertised in newspapers, or on posters displayed on nearby streets. Private sales and purchases can also be made through newspaper classified ads or through free online classified advertising.

Shopping Hours and Days

In NL business hours often change. If it is not a place you visit frequently, it is a good idea to call ahead to make sure that the business is open before you go there.

Business hours sign
Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels.

In NL, working hours vary from store to store. Most stores open around 8 or 9 am and close at 8 or 9 pm. Larger stores or grocery stores mostly close at 9 or 10 pm.

Most stores are open Monday to Saturday. Stores like convenience stores, drug stores, video stores, and some bakeries are open seven days a week. Some stores are open on Sundays, usually from 12:00 noon to 6 pm.

Most stores are not open on the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Good Friday (different date every year)
  • Easter Sunday (different date every year)
  • Victoria Day (Monday on or before May 24)
  • Canada Day (July 1)
  • Labour Day (first Monday in September)
  • Thanksgiving Day (second Monday in October)
  • Remembrance Day (November 11)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • Boxing Day (December 26)

In NL, business hours often change. If it is not a place you visit frequently, it is a good idea to call ahead to make sure that the business is open before you go there.

Related Resources

Find Stores

Online Shopping in NL (mostly used items)

Related Topic in this Guide


We have made every effort to ensure that the information in this Guide is accurate and up-to-date. If you find any errors or omissions, please contact us.

NL Newcomers’ Guide Table of Contents

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The Association for New Canadians of Newfoundland and Labrador gratefully acknowledges the support of PEIANC for their permission to use their template in creating this guide.


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