HYPERMARKETS and department stores once again defied the small traders by opening on Sunday and yesterday they reported that they were happy with the results.
The small traders are fighting back and yesterday launched a campaign in collaboration with the Palma city council, under which they will give free bus tickets to shoppers.
The new scheme will operate until February 1, using the number 2 bus, which goes around the old part of the city centre.
Traders will buy books of 100 tickets for 25 euros, which works out at 25 cents per ticket, a quarter of the regular bus fare without discounts, and give them away to customers.
The campaign, entitled Go Shopping by Bus, is to promote the use of public transport in the biggest shopping area of the city.
It is expected to be particularly popular during the run-up to Christmas.
The campaign will be advertised by 1'000 posters, 1'500 leaflets, 1'200 stickers and 5'000 shopping bags, as well as a media campaign between September 28 and November 15.
But they still refuse to contemplate Sunday opening.
Pep Ramis, the spokesman for El Corte Inglés said yesterday that although there were fewer shoppers than on a weekday, they were much busier than on other Sundays when they had opened.
He said he did not know how many Sundays they would be allowed to open next year, as the calendar has not been approved, although following Balearic government protests, it could be fewer than eight.
But a spokesman for Pimeco, the small and medium-sized business organisation, said yesterday that the Sunday opening had been a failure and the stores and hypermarkets had lost money.