Sunday and public holiday shop closures would have “drastic impact”

 In News, Retail, Shopping Centres

The Portuguese Association of Shopping Centres (APCC) has warned that any restrictions on opening hours would have a “drastic impact” resulting in a fall in economic activity and job losses.

The warning was made after a citizens’ group handed a proposal to the Portuguese parliament calling for commercial retail establishments, such as shopping malls, to be closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Instead, the group is proposing that retail and services establishments in commercial spaces like shopping centres should be open between 6am and 10pm on Mondays to Saturdays to provide retail staff with a better work/life balance.
The group argues that the opening of shopping centres seven days a week, all year round, from 6-24 hours has caused a huge deregulation of working hours, and has upset the lives of the families of those working in the retail sector.
But an official source at the at the Portuguese Association of Shopping Centres (APCC) says that any restriction on working hours would have a “drastic impact”.
The citizens’ group says that the current regulatory model makes it difficult for retail staff to balance their professional lives with their family lives with a negative impact on their leisure time.
They also say there needs to be a greater competition balance between traditional high street shopping, shopping centres and large supermarkets.
In the initiative, which was handed to parliament at the beginning of July, it is argued that within a European context, is the country which for a long time has adopted more liberal opening hours.
“We need regulated hours which are more reasonable which, on the one hand meet the needs of consumers and on the other ensure an acceptable competitive balance between retail models that enable smaller and more traditional retailers to survive and the continuity of town and city centre shops.”
The APCC’s official website argues, however, that “shopping Centers are a space for meeting people, retail trade and leisure, every day of the week”. “Any hourly restrictions in shopping centers will have a drastic impact on the entire shopping centre ecosystem, a reduction in economic activity and loss of jobs.”