Books for sale in supermarkets from Monday – Coronavirus


The Decree of the Council of Ministers that regulates the state of emergency for a period of more than 15 days does not alter the rules that have been in force since 15 January. António Costa had already guaranteed that the rules had to be maintained. With one exception. It is that, starting at zero hours on February 15th, Monday, stores that sell essential goods can also sell books and school supplies.

The determination is decree published already in Diário da República.

And there is an amendment: “The member of the Government responsible for the area of ​​the economy may, by order, determine that retail establishments that sell more than one type of good and whose activity is permitted under this decree cannot sell goods typically traded in closed retail establishments or with activity suspended under the terms of this decree, with exclusion of books and school supplies, which should remain available to students and citizens in general “. When announcing the partial “deflation” of book sales, some doubts remained: whether retailers such as Fnac and CTT, for example, could also start selling books; and if it was just school books.

This Saturday to Lusa, the vice president of the Portuguese Association of Editors and Booksellers (APEL), Pedro Sobral, spoke about a “little good news” for the sector. And he explained: “This now what is allowed is the lifting of restrictions on the sale of books in the retail that was authorized. We are talking about multi-product retail, such as FNAC and El Corte Inglés, but also stationery and tobacconists. Most bookstores in Portugal are also tobacconists. They were open, but they couldn’t sell books. Now they can sell books again, “he said.

However, Pedro Sobral considers that “an issue as important as this is missing, which is the opening of bookstores or of those entities that only sell books, chains like Bertrand, Ler Devagar, Almedina and all the other independent bookstores that only sell books “.

This is what continues to defend the Rede de Livrarias Independentes (RELI), an association born in the context of a pandemic and which brings together about 80 bookstores “without connection to the networks and chains of large publishing and book groups”.

“For us, the book has to be considered an essential asset and bookstores have to open it. Nobody has the courage to do this, apparently. He has the courage to do other things that are also cleavages, but the only thing that makes sense is: The book is an essential asset, so it has to be sold in bookstores “, stressed one of the spokesmen for RELI, José Pinho, to the Lusa agency.

Although the books may now be sold again in supermarkets, hypermarkets, the FNAC chain, tobacconists or stationery shops, José Pinho calls for a reopening of bookstores.

APEL recalls that the book and publishing sector is “going through a catastrophic moment”, with the closure of bookstores, recalling that in 2020 it recorded a loss of 26 million euros.

“This year, with five weeks of the year – three weeks of confinement – we are already going with a loss of six million euros,” said Pedro Ssobral.

Apel has already called for this exception to also lead to the possibility of selling books by bookstores. He appealed to Reli – Rede de Livrarias Independentes, which on your website has the comment: “If there is authorization for the sale of books, wherever it is, it must start by contemplating the opening of bookstores. And, if they can become available because they are an essential asset, then books should be sold in all spaces that commercialize them, like any other essential good “.


Source: Jornal de Negócios by www.jornaldenegocios.pt.

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