LARGE stores on the Island opened their doors for trading last Sunday without the customer crowding that had been augured by competing small to medium-sized businesses.
In spite of the prophesy of doom in terms of purported unfair trading, the smaller companies failed to rise to the bait of Sunday shoppers, keeping their shop doors firmly closed in the face of larger competition.
People interviewed were making the most of being able to shop on Sunday. In a society that has to snatch an hour or so, to make time to make purchases for the home, seven days of trading provided an alternative, not hitherto enjoyed.
Comments revealed that some believed it is the trader who should adapt to the needs of the clients, not the other way round; and people are going to give their custom to the places which are open; or in order to earn money, traders should have to work for it; and even getting my hair cut is something I prefer to do at the weekend. Shoppers pointed out that in areas where there are holiday or weekend home developments, traders are open both Saturday and Sunday.
In the war of words between large and small businesses amid reports of a major reduction in sales on the high street, the Balearic government had sided with the small traders, but the bigger stores remained defiant indicating that they had permission from the central administration in Madrid to open their doors for business.
The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) in the Balearics, as well as the Majorcan Socialists (PSM) blamed the regional government directly yesterday, for having acted without reflection on allowing Sunday trading.
Both parties claimed the Commerce minister, Josep Joan Cardona should have more rigorously applied the Trading Law in the Balearics.
The small and medium-sized business association in the Islands (PIMECO), has called on Cardona to set up an urgent meeting to assess the situation.