This is the opinion of António Sampaio de Mattos, leader of the Associação Portuguesa de Centros Comerciais (Portuguese Association of Shopping Centres), who also believes that this law, according to which shop owners only have to begin paying their rents again in March next year, will have «a more negative impact in the mid and long-term for the value chain as a whole, than the pandemic did».
In an interview to Portuguese daily newspaper Dinheiro Vivo, António Sampaio de Mattos stated that he has doubts as to this law’s constitutionality which he believes to be «completely disproportionate (…) This regime was not discussed with the economic agents and shows a great lack of knowledge of the sector, whose business model will be severely affected. It also shows an incomprehensible and misinformed prejudice against shopping centres, ignoring that shopping centres have significantly supported their shop owners».
He also considers that this is a law that does not benefit the small retailer, but the big brands, which represent 77% of the shops found on the associated shopping centres, and which «have a higher fixed rent (more sqm), and whose payments were simply cancelled. (…) The Parliament made the shopping centres’ owners subsidise the great brands’ activity».
Recently, a set of investors also sent the Government a letter where they request the review of this measure to suspend fixed rents, considering that it is a «disproportionately, unbalanced, misjudged and radical measure».