Before shutting up shop for the weekend yesterday, shop keepers across the Balearics were busy plastering their shop fronts with sales signs as the official summer sales finally get under way tomorrow (Monday). This year, under new legislation approved by the Balearic government, the summer sales have been delayed three weeks to the third Monday in July. The change to the commercial law has not been welcomed by shop keepers, in Minorca for example, many started the sales last week in defiance of the Balearic government when it was reported that flights to the mainland were full of people heading over to Madrid and Barcelona for the sales which started as usual at the start of the month. Mainland shopping is popular anyhow with prices being as much as 25 percent less.

The summer sales could prove crucial for the commercial sector which was hit by a very bleak winter sales period. The government says that it changed the law in order to enable shop keepers to cash in on the thousands of tourists on the islands, but the commercial sector is sceptical. Many shop keepers says that tourists do not come to the Balearics to go shopping and are worried because the end of July and the start of August is when the majority of Balearics residents go on holiday with many leaving the islands. The commercial sector is also angry because all the major clothing distributers have been delivering the autumn ranges to stores elsewhere in Spain since the start of the month, and now they will have to go round again especially for the Balearics. Nevertheless, high street stores in the Balearics have got wise to European trading tactics, and despite risking a run in with the authorities, have been offering summer discounts and special offers for weeks, hoping that by not describing the reductions as “sales” they can get around the delay. Some shops are being investigated, but if the summer sales do not prove a success, the government will have to deal with the wrath of shop keepers across the Balearics.


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