The winter sales started in the Balearics yesteray, but in some parts of the centre of Palma, it felt like just a normal trading day, the huge sense of excitement and queues on the high street in anticipation of being first through the doors on day one of the sales have become a thing of the past in Palma. Punters were however banging on the doors of the capital's department stores with small shopkeepers hoping that over the next two months, consumers will spend 35 million euros in the sales, an average of 100 to 150 euros per family. Commercial sector bosses are optimistic that the sales will be a success, traditionally more money is spent during the winter bargains than the summer sales - sales are expected to be between five and ten per cent up on last year. The drop in Christmas spending, according to the commercial sector, is because consumers were saving up for the sales either that or high inflation and the poor tourist season has dented consumer confidence, on which there is a danger of the winter sales proving a flop. The sales have kicked off with discounts of as much as 60 per cent and because of the drop in trade over the festive period, some stores have plenty of stock in their store rooms which has to go over the next eight weeks and some mega bargains can be expected. There has also been a marked increase in the number of punters reserving items for purchase in the sales - not usually characteristic with a highly affluent, big-spending society.


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