Campaign to help small retailers

Members of the Commercial and Industrial Association of Sintra (Associação Comercial e Industrial do Concelho de Sintra – ACISintra) have launched a Christmas campaign aimed at stimulating shopping in traditional outlets.

Organisers chose Estefânea to launch the venture. Father Christmas arrived on board an open-top Mercedes – one of the prizes on offer this year to shoppers. More than 100 children from schools in Sintra accompanied the car and Santa Claus as they entered the town.

The initiative springs from the intense competition that small retailers have to face from large shopping centres. “This year we have a campaign that concentrates on quality,” said Manuel do Cabo, president of ACISintra. Mobile phones, electrical goods and a great variety of other prizes will be on offer from retailers belonging to the campaign. “In traditional shops you deserve a special prize” is the slogan of the campaign that aims to lure festive shoppers.

“More and more large-scale commercial shopping areas are springing up all the time and this really worries us,” said Manuel do Cabo. Regarding the success of this year’s small retailers’ Christmas venture, he strikes a cautious note: “We cannot forget that the country is experiencing a difficult economic situation. The spending power of the Portuguese has diminished, so there has to be a great effort from shopkeepers and businessmen to make this a good Christmas.”

ACISintra’s Christmas appeal has the support of the Ministry of the Economy and Sintra Câmara and will run until December 24.