High street shops in the Balearics last year performed the worst in Spain. Small shopkeepers reported an overall increase in sales of 7.8 per cent compared to November 2001, but in the Balearics the increase in sales was just 1.5 per cent, the lowest in Spain. The huge increase in hypermarket and department store sales however indicate that shopping centres are continuing to grow in popularity - supermarkets reported an increase in sales of just under 16 per cent and shopping centres a rise in trade of 14.2 per cent. The figures for November will come as no suprise to the Balearic commercial sector, many traders hope that consumers held back on Christmas and New Year spending in order to make the most of the winter sales which started, somewhat sluggishly, last week.

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