THIS shop is closed until September 3 for the month of August. Shop sales fall in Palma in August by 20 percent, tourists blamed. The first statement I saw on the doors of a number of shops in Palma and the second is from an article which appeared in this newspaper last week. And now I will add a third, how are tourists expected to spend their hard earned cash if a sizeable number of shops in Palma are closed? I did a tour around some of Palma's premier shopping streets last weekend, I would say that at least a third were closed for August. Everyone has a right to go on holiday and if the business is yours, then you decide. But what I can't tolerate is small shopkeepers moaning about a poor summer season when some of them closed down for the main month of the season. This is just madness. Rather than closing in August they should have increased their opening hours. One thing for sure is that cloudy times are ahead for the local economy and if I were a small shopkeeper (and I thank my lucky stars that I am not) then I would have built-up a so-called war chest during the summer which would last me for the winter. Now we are faced with endless moaning about difficult trading situations on the high street. Most souvenir shops in the tourist resorts remain open until 10p.m. even on a Sunday. It's a shame that their counterparts in Palma don't follow suit. I understand that it must be difficult running a small shop, but they won't get much sympathy from me in Palma regarding a poor season.