With the prestigious opening of the first Leica Store in Porto last night, Leica Camera AG consistently expands its presence in Portugal. Portugal has been a major location for Leica Camera AG since the founding of the Leica Aparelhos Ópticos de Precisão S.A. factory in 1973. The move made in March 2013 to the new factory in Lousado – Vila Nova de Famalicão, near Porto, reinforced again the strategic importance of the second largest production site for the traditional company from Wetzlar.
“The Leica Camera and the Porto region have been linked since 1973. Our Portuguese colleagues at the production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, with their know-how and great commitment, have contributed significantly to the success of Leica Camera AG. The new Leica Store in Porto reinforces our commitment to the production site, and I am very happy that this new home of our brand in Porto, this wonderful city, further intensifies our relations with Portugal”, says Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Leica Camera AG.

“Between Leica and the Porto region, there is an affinity of decades and our Portuguese colleagues at the production site of Vila Nova de Famalicão have contributed significantly with their know-how and their great commitment to the success of Leica Camera AG. Therefore, we are particularly pleased to confirm, once again, our commitment with the new Leica Store and to be able to give the tradition-rich brand another home in Porto”, says Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Leica Camera AG.

Leica Store, with an area of approximately 105 m², is located in a historical building on Rua de Sá da Bandeira, 48/52, and offers the entire portfolio of cameras and sports optics. In addition, the Store houses a Leica Gallery with about 100 square meters, which in the future will house alternate exhibitions of high quality. For the inauguration, the Gallery presents a visual tribute to the city of Porto, with impressive works by the photographer and World Press Photo winner, Daniel Rodrigues. All the photographs of the exhibition “Homage in black and white to Porto” were captured with a Leica M Monochrom. In addition to the large Gallery, the tradition-rich Leica Akademie adjusts the offer in the near future with high-quality photography workshops and lectures in its own training rooms. The building located in the heart of the attractive city of Porto first housed the Café Excelsior. Based on this, a café and bar was created in the transition zone between the Store and Leica Gallery, with a lit ceiling similar to the original, which supplies the bar with daylight.

“Porto is one of the most interesting cultural and commercial cities in Europe with a promising economic and creative potential. The opening of the first Leica Store in Portugal is part of our ambitious global Leica Retail Store strategy. We are convinced that we can offer our Portuguese and international customers a unique brand experience and, through the Leica Gallery, a cultural site of photography”, says Oliver Kaltner, CEO of Leica Camera AG.

In addition to the new Leica Store, the spectacular “Eyes Wide Open! 100 years of Leica photography” will also take place at the Municipal Gallery of Porto, from November 30, 2016 to February 5, 2017. The successful exhibition, which has inspired more than 150,000 visitors in numerous European cities, exhibits, on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of Leica Photography, important moments in the history of art and culture of the last century. In focus is the revolutionary turnaround, through a technical innovation – the “Ur-Leica”. Not only did the miniature camera ensure change and progress in the field of photography, but also a significant social change: Images that were recorded in the collective memory were photographed from the 1920s, mainly with “Leica” (“Leitz Camera”) and have thus impressively documented current events. Hence, Leica has shaped and changed significantly the photographic vision since then. The exhibition at the Municipal Gallery of Porto features works by internationally renowned Leica photographers.