THE date of the summer sales has been brought forward one week, to July 8, in a majority decision following a meeting of the commerce advisory board. The small shopkeepers had asked for the sales to be brought forward to July 1.
The advisory board comprises representatives of the Island Councils, traders, unions and the most representative consumer associations.
Balearic minister of commerce Josep Juan Cardona, and Francesc Tutzo, the director general of commerce, announced the decisions after the meeting.
Opposition to an early start to the sales came from the Council of Majorca and the Minorcan traders, while the unions abstained, but the other votes were in a majority and carried the day.
The sales will run for two months, but despite the agreement, Tutzo said that it was necessary to set a permanent starting date for the sales, to prevent confusion.
A meeting will be held later in the year to decide the date of the winter sales.
But the main item on the agenda was the controversy over major department stores and hypermarkets to open this Sunday.
This contravenes an agreement under which opening would be restricted to five of the 12 Sundays or public holidays a year allowed by law.
However, Anged, the National Association of Distributers, maintains that it expressed opposition to this agreement and does not feel bound by it.
The board decided that if the hypermarkets do open on Sunday, an emergency meeting will be called to change the calendar of Sunday openings.
The small traders went even further and proposed cancelling the three authorised opening days over Christmas.