Relentless retailers lodge new injunction against IKEA Loulé

Warning yet again that it will have “disastrous” consequences on the region, six Algarve business associations have announced they will be lodging another injunction against the construction of IKEA’s mega shopping complex near Loulé.

It will be the third injunction lodged against the project since IKEA announced plans to build a shopping complex in the Algarve.

In his latest critical statement, the president of Algarve business association ACRAL said that “the region’s economy is going to suffer” with the opening of the complex, which he believes “will have a brutal impact on families”.

Victor Guerreiro explained that the complex “will centralise” the region’s economy in just one location, leaving other businesspeople “with few or no clients”.

He also says that for every job created at the IKEA complex, another two will disappear.

However, the clock is ticking for retailers. The Swedish furniture giant has already begun construction work. The complex will include an IKEA store, shopping centre and retail outlet, which will create around 3,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The 40-hectare project represents a €200 million investment and, if all goes according to plan, the IKEA store should be up and running in 2016, while the rest of the complex is expected to open in 2017.

Guerreiro has always criticised the complex for being “too big for the Algarve, sucking all the business away from other smaller retailers”.

The injunction is going to be lodged in court by ACRAL, the Quarteira and Vilamoura Entrepreneur Association (AEQA), the Algarve Hotel Association (AHETA), the Algarve Hoteliers Association (AIHSA) the Young Algarve Businesspeople Association (ANJE) and the Algarve Entrepreneur Confederation (CEAL).

They had already lodged an injunction in 2013 to stop the Swedish company from building the complex in Loulé.

Two years earlier, four of the associations had also taken to the courts to oppose the urbanisation plan for the Caliços-Esteval area, which had once been Reserva Agrícola Nacional (RAN, protected agricultural land) but saw its protected status change so that IKEA could build on it.

By MICHAEL BRUXO [email protected]