By Jason Moore

WE are seeing a radical change in Palma. Shops which have been in existence for many years are closing down and making way for new fast food bars, discount and charity shops. The very fabric of our city is changing as the big out-of-town stores take hold. It is a trend which will continue as new stores on industrial estates take hold. It is a shame that Palma is changing and it is a shame that those shops that have closed did not change their trading practices. We are seeing a new Palma, without its old character, but it is probably more flexible and more in-tune with what people want. Ironmongers have been an institution across the globe for decades. The fact that they don't open on a Saturday in Palma and many are staffed by their own special brand of people are obvious low points. I must say that for some items I welcome the discount shops with open-arms; why should I pay seven euros for a hammer when I can buy one for a euro? The quality is not the same I hear you say, and I reply well I am not Bob the Builder and for many limited DIY skills it is ideal. Shops, also, shouldn't complain too much about their new competitors because the introduction of the euro saw shop prices rocket and it is quite nice to get change from five euros when you actually want to purchase something. The growth in these businesses has been quite dramatic; there are now three discount shops in the Avenida Argentina and they all do good business. What does it tell us? That your average retailer had become far too expensive and wasn't opening enough to pay the rent and make a profit. But it is quite interesting to note that while we are all aware of the major changes our beloved council hasn't said a word on the topic. Surely, Mayor Cirer has seen the change herself. Where does she shop I wonder? Unfortunately this change is good for us but not so great for holidaymaker who want to find something a bit different than a discount shop.

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