Sonae Files Complaint Against Store Opening Hour Restrictions

25 April 2016 – Expansión

Legal action/ The group behind the retail brands Worten, Sport Zone and Zippy is rebelling against the store opening restrictions being imposed by the Generalitat in certain areas of Valencia.

Sonae SR, a division of the Portuguese group Sonae, the retail specialist, is on the war path against the Valencian government. The company will start legal proceedings, probably tomorrow or on Wednesday, against the General Trade Directorate of the Community of Valencia, after that body took the decision in March to prohibit stores and shopping centres from opening on Sundays and Bank Holidays in certain areas of Valencia, including the area around the Arena shopping centre (pictured above).

Rafael Maortua, from the law firm Main Servicios Profesionales and the legal representative for Sonae SR, estimates that the opening hour restrictions will have a negative impact of more than 20% on the Sonae SR group’s sales at that shopping centre. The company has calculated that, under the new legislation, they will have to close their doors on an additional 38-40 days per year.

To avoid this, they are filing a claim that will be lodged with the secretary of Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC). (…).

Although the main driver behind the recent restriction on openings hours is the protection of small retailers, Maortua says “Consumers are not going to change their decision to shop on a Sunday or Bank Holiday because their favourite store is closed..”.

The legal representative of Sonae SR points out that when trade was liberalised in Madrid, 20,000 new jobs were created. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Ana Antón)

Translation: Carmel Drake