Argentine shops lure fans with match-day discounts

BUENOS AIRES, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Shopping centers in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires pledged to offer deep discounts Saturday if the national team won its Tuesday match against Switzerland as part of the Brazil World Cup.

The city's main shopping centers said customers would enjoy discounts of as much as 50 percent should Argentina qualify to compete in the quarterfinal game.

The July 5 match between Argentina and either Belgium or the United States is scheduled to take place at 1 pm (16:00 GMT) in Brasilia.

According to the daily El Cronista, car dealerships and clothing stores joined in the publicity campaign, offering discounts during national team games or match days.

Like many parts of the world where football is the national pastime, city streets and shopping centers have been deserted during matches, as fans stay close to their television sets at home, or gather at restaurants to watch the games.

The city's Alto Palermo, Alto Avellaneda, Abasto Shopping, Soleil and Dot Baires shopping centers have announced Happy Hour-style discounts of up to 50 between 6 and 10 p.m. Saturday.

In addition, discounts of 10 to 40 percent will be offered throughout the day.

Among car dealerships, Renault was offering customers who walked in during the Argentina-Switzerland and bought a Clio Mio, an 11 percent refund on the sticker price.

Peugeot Argentina offered customers who came into any of their service centers during the World Cup (and up to July 31) discount coupons on their next visits of 10, 15 or 30 percent, depending on how well the team performed.