5

Business must be good in Majorca. In fact, it must be very good. I have come to this conclusion because a large number of shops, restaurants and bars close their doors in August at the height of the summer season and go on holiday. July and August are the best months for a summer break and everyone deserves their holiday, but can a business really afford to close at the time of the year when the population of the island doubles and you would thought that local businesses could double their profits, as well? Well it appears so. A summer holiday is more important than an increase in profits for some businesses, or so it seems.

If you can afford to close your doors in August and take a break, brilliant, but don´t complain at the end of the season if your profits have fallen. In fact, don't complain at all: you can't have your cake and eat it. And to be honest a business can survive with reduced staff which would ease the need to close down completely. If you look at shop and to a lesser extent bar and restaurant trading times in Palma, you wouldn't think that you are in one of the tourist capitals of Europe. Shops open well after breakfast, close for lunch, re-open mid-afternoon and then close again at dinner time. So in other words, shops in Palma are closed for half the time that cruise ships are in Palma.

Saturday usually sees about half the shops closed; Sunday, only a handful are open. And then you hear reports that times are hard on the high street. Perhaps the time has come for a rethink, especially during the summer months. Open earlier to catch cruise ship passengers, close for lunch for an hour and open later into the night. During the winter months there is little or no need for extended opening hours and really some shops could easily close on a weekday during the low season. Open longer in the summer and scale back in the winter, not the other way around.