The opening of the new Retail Park is scheduled for June 2022 as announced by Retail Mind Global Retail Services, which is promoting the project. Sudoeste Retail Park is the result of an investment of €25 million and will create nearly 400 jobs.

Covering an area of 14,500 square metres, the Sudoeste Retail Park will be home to 19 stores, which will sell a wide range of products from furniture to technology. As an example of some of the highlights, there will be a Continente Supermarket, 24-hour pharmacy, petrol station, Burger King, Sport Zone, Seaside, Rádio Popular, Homa, Espaço Casa, Coffee Shop, among others.

Logic behind the location

The new commercial space does not go unnoticed. Those who frequently pass along the N125 in the Algarve have already seen the construction works next to the Alcantarilha roundabout on the EN125.

When asked how they choose the locations where they will build new retail parks, André Leal, Head of Strategic & New Business at Retail Mind, said that “the purpose of a retail park is not to be downtown. It's being on the outskirts of cities - ideally in an area of greater visibility, such as on a national road or next to a motorway. In Sudoeste Retail Park we have both, the A22 about 100m away and the N125. In addition, we are building a new access road to Armação de Pêra”.

New Retail Trends

The pandemic was definitely negative for most industries, but not for all. In fact, despite the pandemic, there were markets that grew, such as supermarkets, as well as decoration, furniture and home appliances.

In terms of prices, André Leal told The Portugal News that in general consumers are looking for more affordable products. However, in this respect, the Algarve market has specific traits. “In Sudoeste Retail Park we will have a lot of decoration and furniture, including a brand called Antarte, which sells high-end products. The Algarve market allows this type of furniture store, which other regions of Portugal do not allow”.

Retail Parks getting popular

Over the last years, the market has witnessed big changes. André Leal, who has worked as a shopping centre director for several years and has always been linked to the retail sector, forecasts that retail parks represent the future.

“Due to the pandemic, people are afraid to go in shopping centres. At Retail Parks people feel comfortable and safe as most of the space is outdoors. Also, we have stores with ceiling heights of 5.6 metres, with wide aisles”. Furthermore, “brands are becoming very open to this kind of concept”, he added.

Fourteen Retail Parks to open

Despite Portugal being one of the European countries with the most shopping centres per inhabitant, Retail Mind guarantees that the market still has capacity to absorb more retail parks. With 14 projects of this kind in the pipeline, Retail Mind is the living proof of that.

From north to south, including the islands, Retail Mind has plans for several districts of the country. André Leal, who does not want to go further in details, confirmed that there are building works about to start during the month of March.