Definition of Shopping Centre - according to the APCC bylaws
Shopping Centre shall mean any business development meeting all the following requirements:

a) Comprising a minimum number of 12 business establishments and a minimum gross area of 500m2, the majority of these business establishments carrying out diversified and specialised business activities, according to a predetermined plan;

b) All shops shall be located in one single building or in interconnected adjoining buildings, with common areas through which the access to the shops located in the building or buildings will be made;

c) The entire business development shall have a management unit, being understood as such, the implementation, management and co-ordination of technical and commercial common services, as well as the supervision of the compliance with all internal regulations;

d) The various business establishments shall have the same business hours (opening and closing times), with the exception of those, which due to the specific nature of their activity deviate from the normal business hours of the other business activities of the development.

Classification of Shopping Centres
Desde Julho de 2005 que a APCC conta com uma nova Tipologia de Centros Comerciais, adaptada às actuais características do mercado nacional, e enquadrada com o padrão europeu em matéria de definições de Centros Comerciais. A nova tipologia foi desenvolvido pelo ICSC – Europe, através do ERG – European Research Group e adaptada pela APCC.
Format Type of scheme GLA m2
Traditional Very Large 80.000 and above
Large 40.000 – 79.999
Medium 20.000 – 39.999
Small Comparison-Based 5.000 – 19.999
Convenience-Based 5.000 – 19.999
Very Small 500 – 4.999
Specialized Retail Park Large 20.000 and above
Medium 10.000 – 19.999
Small 5.000 – 9.999
Factory Outlet Centre 5.000 and above
Theme-oriented Centre Leisure-based 5.000 and above
Non-Leisure-based 5.000 and above


A Shopping centre is a scheme that is planned, built and managed as a single identity, comprising units and “communal” areas, with a minimum Gross Leasable Area of 500 sq. metres.

Shopping Centres are defined in two main categories: traditional and specialized. A traditional centre is an all purpose schemes that could be either enclosed or open air classified by size. Specialized centres include specific purpose-built retail schemes that are typically open air and could be further classified by size.

There are two types of small traditional centres: comparison-based and convenience-based. Comparison-based centres include retailers typically selling fashion apparel and shoes, home furnishing, electronics, general merchandise, toys, luxury goods, gifts and other discretionary goods. Comparison-based centres are often part of a larger retail area, most likely found in a city centres. Convenience-based centres include retailers that sell essential goods (those items consumers buy on a regular basis) and are typically anchored by a grocery store (supermarket or hypermarket). Additional stores usually found in convenience-based centres include chemist (drug stores), convenience stores and retailers selling household goods, basic apparel, flowers and pet supplies. These centres are typically located at the edge or out of town.

Retail Park, also known as power centre, is consistently designed, planned and managed scheme that comprises mainly medium and large scale specialist retailers (“big boxes” or “power stores”)

Factory Outlet centre is consistently designed, planned and managed scheme with separate store units, where manufacturers and retailers sell merchandise at disconted prices that may be surplus stock, prior season or slow selling.

Theme-Oriented Centre is consistently designed, planned and managed scheme that can either be leisure-based or non-leisure-based. These scheme includes some retail units and typically concentrates a narrow but deep selection of merchandise within a specific retail category. A leisure-based centre is usually anchored by a multiplex cinema and includes restaurants and bars with any combination of bowling, health and fitness and other leisure concept uses. A non-leisure-based centre concentrates a niche market for fashion apparel or home furnishings or can target specific costumers such as passengers at airports.

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All information about Portuguese Shopping Centres and retail market
Associação Portuguesa de Centros Comerciais - Av. Engº Duarte Pacheco, Amoreiras, Torre 2, Piso 9, Sala 2 - 1070-102 Lisboa
Tel: +351 213 193 188 - Fax: +351 213 543 401
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