A considerable number of shops in Palma remain closed or are on reduced hours. Despite the fact that Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said that all can open, not all have followed his call.

In fact, I would say that Palma is very much a city which is on a wait and see. Waiting to see if tourists finally arrive. These are hard times on the high streets. Even before the coronavirus things were difficult; the chill winds of recession were allegedly on their way to Spain and then the virus hit. Shops closed and there was a massive growth in online shopping. This will not change. I must admit I was an online shopping virgin and now I couldn’t live without it.

So shopkeepers not only face a drop in revenue they are also faced with the added competition of the internet. In some ways the local authorities were right to try and ban the big out of town shopping centres; they have had a direct impact on the smaller shops in the centre of Palma. The local authorities must try and help stores in Palma, which will be no easy task; less income for many households means lower shop sales. What can be done? Probably the only thing they can do is to try and specialise in given products and hope that tourists start returning to Palma in the numbers we have seen in the past. The simple truth is that Palma shops depend on tourism. No tourists, no sales. Perhaps stores should even consider extended opening hours when and if the season ever gets going.

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