TIMES are hard on the High Street if the large number of shop for sale and let signs are to be believed in Palma. Shops that have been a feature in Palma for many years are closing down for a number of reasons. They are usually replaced by Chinese discount stores or mobile phone shops. The days of the small corner shop selling food items are long gone and even the small boutiques appear to be suffering. Rather quietly, Palma's commercial centre has been moving out of the city centre. It is being built up on the outskirts where big stores are buying up cheap building land and parking is not a problem. Is this a problem? Well of course it is because soon there will be no need to go into the city centre any longer. If you can do your shopping on the outskirts there is no need to venture into the Jaime III or the San Miguel. In the long run it will cause problems because the city will lose its commercial heart. The city council needs to take this stare of affairs into account before it is too late. The majority of tourists come into the city centre to go shopping, if there are no shops then they will simply not come. While this state of affairs has happened in Northern Europe, it will be a shame if it occured to Palma. Shops should be encouraged to specialise and offer items which you can not find in the big hypermarkets or stores otherwise, the future is looking pretty bleak for the centre of town.
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