Supermarket giants flock to Lagoa

RESIDENTS of Lagoa will soon be spoilt for choice when it comes to doing their weekly grocery shopping, thanks to the forthcoming opening of no less than four hypermarkets. If all the projects go ahead, the borough of Lagoa will boast a Modelo, branches of E’Leclerc and Plus, as well as a new Intermarché/Ecomarché.

The Sonae Group intends to build in the Vale de Deus area, on the road between Estômbar and Lagoa. The project includes a Modelo supermarket and two smaller spaces for a Modalfa clothes store and Worten electrical goods store. The location request was approved and the project, which has to be in accordance with the organisational plan for the area, will now be presented to Lagoa Câmara.

The French hypermarket, E’Leclerc, is to be built in Parchal and Plus, from the German multinational Tangelman, has a construction project approved for a commercial area on the Lagoa Adega Cooperativa’s land on the EN125. The project will occupy an area of 6,000sqm, including a car park. Manuel Romão, director of the Adega Cooperativa, hopes the construction will begin in February and be finished in May in time for the summer. Also on the EN125, the Intermarché/Ecomarché group has agreed a deal to open another branch in the old, abandoned, Lagoa Bombeiros’ building. The group already has a supermarket in the borough, on the Carvoeiro road.

Regarding the potential threat to traditional smaller shops, From page 1

the Câmara President, José Inácio, said: “Four isn’t a lot as Lagoa is very dependent on Intermarché on the Carvoeiro road and LIDL in Parchal.” He added that “the population is currently going to Portimão to do their shopping”, which he believes is a negative aspect considering Lagoa’s growth. However, he admitted that “these matters have to be undertaken with some contemplation, so that economic support can be possible”.

Good news for consumers

Increased competition could mean lower prices for shoppers with the supermarkets competing for customers. The Resident spoke to a few people living in the area to hear their views on the proposed new supermarkets. Joana Soares lives in Lagoa and says “this is brilliant news. I don’t drive, so having these supermarkets closer to home is going to make a big difference for me”.

Maria Rocha, who lives in Carvoeiro, says “the Portuguese are shopping addicts, so there is always a demand for more places to shop. Personally, I think four new hypermarkets for Lagoa is excessive. But I must say this will save me travelling to Modelo in Portimão, where supermarket items are cheaper compared to Intermarché.”

Donna Encarnação from Lagoa is delighted with the news: ”This will save me a lot of time. Going to the supermarket in Guia is always a full day affair when I go with my toddler. Having alternatives closer to home will be great for me.”

There was a fifth one

A fifth organisation was also seeking to open a branch of its supermarkets in Lagoa, but was refused permission “because of the geographical location, as it would block the urban structure of the city”, explained Inácio. The company interested was the Jerónimo Martins Group of Pingo Doce and Feira Nova supermarkets. After announcing its national investment plan of 90 million euros a year between 2005 and 2007, the group has now presented a project in Portimão that has been approved.