Jaime III shopping street with plenty of tourists on a Saturday morning. | Jaume Morey

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Hundreds of small shops go to the wall in Mallorca, especially in Palma, every year. The problem has become even more pronounced since the pandemic with many finding it difficult to survive as a result of the growth in online shopping. For me the only way that they will be able to survive is through more flexible opening times. What do I mean? Well, 70 percent of shop- takings in Palma come from tourists and cruise ship passengers. It is laughable that shops close on a Sunday when there are three cruise ships in port but open on Mondays when there are none!

During the peak summer months it is probably better to close on a Monday and open on a Sunday? I know that we all want some quality time with our families and of course Sunday is a family day but with such difficult trading conditions, sacrifices have to be made. As I have said in this space on numerous occasions, in Gibraltar shops open on a Sunday when there are ships in port. Perhaps this should be the way forward for shops in Palma? These days it is a question of being able to shop when you want, not when the shopkeeper wants. During the pandemic there was big growth in online shopping. Even people who had never shopped on the internet were doing so. This is what shopkeepers have to compete against and it is a monster. Changing times call for changing measures.