Evolution of shopping centers in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area: The beginning of the end of a cycle

  • Daniela Carvalho Ferreira DINÂMIA'CET-IUL
Keywords: geography of trade, shopping centres, consumption


In a context of emergence of new formats and new consumer preferences, it is necessary to rethink current shopping malls. Therefore, there is a need to increase empirical knowledge on this phenomenon. With that in mind, the objective of this study is to understand the evolution of these premises in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area in the last decades, in order to understand their position in the retail life cycle. Regarding the methodology, I conducted an extensive survey on shopping malls in the study area. In the first phase, I updated the Observatório do Comércio database, through bibliographic research, with the shopping mall openings in the last fifteen years. In the second phase, a field survey was conducted on 150 shopping malls (from a total of 157) in order to assess their current status. The results of this study show that some shopping malls types endure and consolidate their market position, while others enter a decline phase, and the number of dead shopping malls is already significant. The latter are the result of a poor conception. They are generally commercial condominiums of the late 1990’s, with no integrated management, and do not match current consumer preferences. Successful shopping mall types, on the other hand, generally have an adequate conception and size, as well as the necessary know-how to face adversity. In the last two decades, therefore, we observe two distinct patterns in the evolution of shopping malls.