Stores in central Barcelona saw business drop by up to half last week

Recent unrest in Catalan capital led to heavy fall in retail activity while airport protest and general strike affected flights, say sector representatives

Retail stores have seen as high as a 50% drop in business (by Pau Cortina)
Retail stores have seen as high as a 50% drop in business (by Pau Cortina) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 22, 2019 11:39 AM

Business activity in stores in central Barcelona fell by between 30% and 50% during the unrest that took place in the city last week, says a leading retail association.

According to the Barcelona Oberta association, the past week has seen "seven days of paralysis," causing "very direct repercussions on the city's economic activity."

Barcelona was riven by disturbances every night last week, as police clashed with protesters over the Supreme Court's sentencing of independence leaders to prison for sedition.

The association's head, Gabriel Jené, called for "common sense" and the "need for understanding," following a meeting with the deputy mayor, Jaume Collboni.

As for the ACAVE association, which represents travel agents, its head, Martí Sárrate, said the Barcelona airport protest last Monday and the general strike caused changes to flights.

For the moment, the situation "is not serious," said Sárrate, who nevertheless warned that if the unrest and protests go on, they "could end up damaging the economy."

Eight stores looted in protests

At least eight stores have been raided in the center of Barcelona as protesters have used the demonstration chaos to rob the shops on Friday and Saturday night, 

The epicenter of the protests was in the Plaça Urquinaona, and the thieves broke in by smashing windows of technology, electrical appliance and clothes shops.