According to data from the Directorate-General for Economic Activities, which regulates commerce, cited by the newspaper Expresso, 150 historic stores were recorded in Lisbon, 85 in Porto, 44 in Braga, 25 in Figueira da Foz and 19 in Famalicão. In the case of Lisbon, “in 10 years half of those stores have been lost”, says Carla Salsinha, president of the Union of Commerce and Services Associations.
Paulo Ferrero, from Fórum Cidadania LX, considers that, nowadays, “customers want to preserve these stores more than the owners, often elderly people and their children who do not want to follow the commercial life”. In addition, he states that “it is not the rents that hinder the existence of these establishments”, but instead a lack of professionals to work behind the counter.
The old shops in downtown Lisbon, for example, have been operating on conditional rents since 2013 and these will not be updated until 2027.
For Carla Salsinha, with the closure of these traditional and historic stores, “it is the life of the neighbourhood that disappears”.