Carregado in Lisbon this week welcomed the first of Portugal's factory outlet stores. Hugely successful on the North American Continent and certain Western European countries, the store is based on the concept of having sales the year round.
Small store owners have already voiced their disapproval, but little stands in the way of factory outlet stores becoming a weekly venue for eager bargain hunters.
In exchange for a toll-fee, Lisbon residents will have the opportunity of purchasing some of the world's most renowned brands at discounts ranging from 30 to 90 percent - the whole year round!
Nike, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Boss, Levi, Camel, Omega, Kenzo and Donna Karan are but ten of the 80 brands that were made available this week at the Carregado store. And all, have discount prices attached to their respective tags.
Carregado is located about 40 kilometres from the Lisbon city centre and, despite the relative distance, administrators say an estimate of 3.5 million customers in the next 12 months is a realistic outlook.
Covering 15,000 square metres, the 18 billion escudo (900 million euros) cost of this factory outlet store was borne by the real estate developer Mercasa and the Espírito Santo Group for the building of the village of stores, in a typical Portuguese architectural style.
Managed by the actual manufacturers, representatives or large franchise chains, the 85 stores here will use the space (as the name suggests) to rid themselves of large quantities of excess stocks.
The "clashing" of products will be avoided by singling out certain designs for stores at shopping centres, which will not be found at Carregado.
The administrator of the factory outlet is a company known as Jones Lang La Salle, already well-known in Germany and Britain for similar ventures.
As if these advantages were insufficient to already capture a large share of the market, the outlet has several cafeterias (without discounts, but happy hours will be offered), free parking, additional discounts on less busier days of the week and certain periods of the days and a free transport service to and from Lisbon are extra pros for the centre which says (and we hope) has no "cons".