The economic crisis has not deterred thousands of people from queuing up outside major stores across Portugal for post Christmas bargains.
Hundreds of eager shoppers waited outside Lisbon’s renowned El Corte Ingles department store on December 26, which led to the sell out of all 25 plasma televisions on promotion within 10 minutes.
The department store used December 26 and 27 for a pre-winter sale promotional campaign, named Black Friday, similar to those in the US, before the start of the official sales on December 28.
Despite recent financial woes, the most popular items sold on these days were flat screen televisions priced between 300 and 400 euros, laptops at around 500 euros and other electronic equipment. Many shoppers were said to be turned away disappointed as items on promotion sold out very quickly.
Susana Santos, Public Relations for the El Corte Ingles, said: “The consumer is intelligent. He or she is not looking for fashion items, which will be the focus of the official winter sales, but is looking to make the most of new items and good business.”
She added: “The initiative was such a success that it would be against our clients’ expectations not to repeat it again.”
Smaller, more traditional shops along the Chiado high street in Lisbon also anticipated the official winter sales with promotions on products of up to 70 per cent on December 26 and 27. Many shop owners said that they were surprised by the high turnout of customers, following poor sales before Christmas.
Vasco Mello, the President of the União de Associações do Comércio e Serviços (UACS), the national union of commercial and service associations, however, is against the early promotions, which he says is a “lack of respect for the sales laws”.
Official winter sales started across Portugal on December 28 and will run until February.
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