Dear Editor

Walking around central Palma is a depressing activity right now. So many stores and boutiques closed down, vacant shops for lease and those stores that are trading mostly empty of paying customers. I see owners and shop staff looking forlornly out to the street no doubt asking themselves, where are the customers?

They didn’t build a year of Covid-19 into their business plans and they didn’t see it coming. No one saw it coming.

So what can shop keepers do to remain in business until we see off Covid-19 and banish it from our lives?

Fundamentally, they have to re-think their business and look for alternative means of reaching potential customers. Going on-line is one such route. Creating a simple website to showcase goods and accept orders is not that difficult. It converts an empty shop into a mini Amazon-style distribution centre.

Picking, packing and posting is the name of the on-line game and once the orders start coming in, store owners can wait out the return of the tourists with cash in the bank. It’s harder work than just opening the shop’s doors every day but it can be greatly worth it and has the potential to be the saviour of those businesses that give it a try. Not all will succeed but for those that do, it could make the difference between solvency and bankruptcy.

Chris Ogilvie-Taylor