By Humphrey Carter
THIS weekend is going to be make or break on the high street with the retail sector hoping that consumers will be out in force after a slow build up to Christmas. Unable to wait just over three weeks until the official start of the January sales, many high street shops have already launched into Christmas and winter offers to try and stimulate trade, but the reaction has been lukewarm with consumers keeping their hands in their pockets. After another mixed year for the tourist industry, minimal economic growth, a further rise in the cost of living and an increase in unemployment, little Christmas spirit has been registered at the cash tills. The people are about enjoying the street entertainment provided by Palma city council, but few are spending and the shopping centres hope that this Sunday, consumers will loosen their belts and splash out. The Christmas market stall holders have already started complaining about the lack of trade this Christmas and many high street stores which usually close their doors on Saturday afternoons, will remain open this weekend. Earlier this month, Majorcan retail sector president Pau Bellinfante rejected accusations from a number of consumer organisations that the commercial sector has launched its Christmas campaign earlier than ever to generate extra trade while also hiking its prices. He said that in the Balearics the Christmas shopping period kicked off later than Paris or London, for example, and that any cases of price hiking will only back fire on the retail outlet concerned.

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