Controversy over Freeport’s festive opening hours

THE MANAGEMENT of the Freeport Designer Outlet in Alcochete has received an anonymous letter describing the behaviour of the administration as “tyrannical”, “deplorable” and “unprecedented”.

The letter refers to the alleged intention of the outlet’s management to keep shops open until midnight on December 31 and to open the shops again at 2pm on New Year’s Day. The letter also accuses the management ofintending to fine those “who want to close their shops”.

In a direct response to the anonymous criticism, the outlet’s management stated that, on December 31, the shops “will close at 10pm, to offer everyone the possibility to participate in an alternative programme for New Year’s Eve” that the shopping centre is organising. For January 1, the management explained: “As a leisure centre, Freeport Designer Outlet could not miss the opportunity to open and will be offering visitors an entertainment programme that includes music and face painting.”

The management also argues that they consulted various shop owners who supported the company in the decision “to provide our clients with what they want”. In the four-paragraph response letter, the outlet’s administration also commented that only “five per cent of workers are in favour of closing the shops on the first day of the year”.

During the Christmas period, the outlet will close its shops at 6pm today (December 24) and all day on December 25. “Although the cinemas will be open on Christmas Day,” declared Freeport’s management.