Shops on Jaime III street in Palma. | T. AYUGA


I sometimes despair at Palma shopkeepers. It was an exceptionally busy weekend. There were cruise ships in port and Mallorca was busy celebrating San Jordi/St. George's Day. On Saturday afternoon the city was packed and I suspect it would have been a similar story on Sunday, if shops were open.

Now, I know that only a small number of shops, around Jaime III, are allowed to open on a Sunday but you would have thought that after two years of Covid closures, they would all be open for business, trying to make as much cash as possible. But no. Only a handful of the shops which could have opened on Sunday were actually open. Why? The summer season is under way, cruise ships are arriving and things are returning to normal.

In Gibraltar shops open on a Sunday if and when there are cruise ships in port. Why doesn't Palma do the same? I understand that staffing costs for a small shopkeeper are higher on a Sunday than they would be on a normal weekday, but surely local retailers should be more flexible. It probably makes more financial sense if retailers open on a Sunday but close on a Monday or Tuesday if there are no major ships in port. Also, I think shops should revisit the idea of closing at lunchtime. I know that this only applies to a small number of shops (because the majority do open) but it does seem rather senseless.

A gentle reminder to all shopkeepers; seventy per cent of your sales come from tourists.