C&A to open first Algarve store.jpg

C&A to open first Algarve store


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FAMILY FASHION retailer, C&A, is to open its first store in the Algarve next month.

Due to open in mid October at the Forum Algarve shopping centre in Faro, the new store takes the place of Tribo and Macmoda on the ground floor of the centre, close to Banco Espirito Santo.

The C&A store at Forum Algarve will boast a total area of over 1,000 sqm. and, according to João Jesus of Forum Algarve’s management team, it will be the first store in Portugal to present C&A’s new image, in terms of shop design and display fittings.

“It’s going to be a big store, a similar size to the Cortefiel store we already have here, and will offer clothing and accessories for the whole family,” he told The Resident. “There will be three sections: one for men, another for women and another for babies, children and teens. We are getting lots of people asking us when it is going to open and we expect the store to bring lots of people to the shopping centre.”

The store is expected to create between 30 and 40 new jobs.

Famous for good value

C&A is known for offering family clothing at favourable prices and, with the current economic crisis affecting Portugal and consumers tightening their belts, the retailer may well have picked the right time to expand its operations in this country.The Faro store will be C&A’s 21st in the country (13 other branches plus 7 Kids Stores exist  in Lisbon, central and northern Portugal).

Long history

C&A was founded in 1841 by brothers Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer, whose initials were taken to give the company its name.

In that year, they opened a textile warehouse in Sneek, in the Netherlands and, 20 years later, in 1861, opened the first store, which proved a great success.  C&A is credited with being one of the first outlets to offer made-up products i.e. ready-to wear items of clothing in various sizes to a broad public.

Today, C&A employs 32,000 staff, has a total of 835 branches, 145 Kids Stores and 23 Clockhouse shops in 14 European countries — but is no longer operating in the UK.


Many British readers will have childhood memories of C&A school blouses and sensible shoes and perhaps remember receiving patterned C&A pullovers and warm socks for Christmas from well-meaning older relatives. Plus, of course, there were the party dresses at Clockhouse, which were a favourite for school discos. It seems you either loved C&A or hated it!

British high street favourite

for over 75 years

C&A opened its first store in London, in 1922 and, by the end of the 1990s, the company had a total of 113 stores in the UK.

For decades it had been offering just what the British customers wanted, a range of classic and fashionable designs at low prices, but, by 2001, its relationship with British consumers had soured, with commentators blaming the growth of discount stores such as Matalan, Peacocks and the growth of brand shops such as Next and Gap, which target specific parts of the market.

The nineties saw a dramatic change in the UK’s retail industry, which C&A failed to overcome. The company racked up 250 million pounds in losses over just a five year period. All 113 stores were closed across the UK in 2001 and 4,800 staff lost their jobs.

Popularity in Portugal

C&A opened its first store in Portugal in 1991 and, for now, the retailer’s popularity appears to be flourishing in this country.

So, for those British expatriates who would like to become reacquainted with “an old friend”, you know where to go from mid October!