By Humphrey Carter
THE summer sales are over and all the winter collections are hanging on the rails, but that is about all the movement there has been in many clothes shops with most people still dressed for summer.

High street clothing and footwear retailers are praying for some cold and wet weather because the extended summer and high temperatures the Balearics are enjoying has all but frozen the sale of winter wear. Some traders are feeling the pinch while others are offering winter discounts in a bid to try and tempt punters across the threshold.

After a dreary summer sales period, this was not the start to the Autumn trading period the retail sector was hoping for, but all is not lost.

There will not be a run on raincoats just yet, however. More Autumnal weather is forecast to finally start moving into the Balearics as the week goes on with the temperatures getting noticeably cooler.

While a phenomenon beyond the control of the retail sector, the sun may have shone on the Balearics this summer, but not enough to lift the gloom on the high street. The decline in domestic consumer and tourism spending, in particular in the areas highly dependent on tourism, was as high as ten percent with the small shopkeepers hardest hit.

Although, in Palma, only 13 per cent of shop keepers claimed to have enjoyed a “good” summer sales period.
The two main retail associations claim that high street trading, since the start of the year, is 25 percent down on last year with the main reason being that consumer confidence is still fragile.

However, it is not only the small shopkeepers in the Balearics who are suffering.
Rain or shine, high street trading across the European Union fell again by 1.3 percent in August and has dropped by 0.4 percent since the start of the year.

Although while the United Kingdom, for example, has continued to see high street growth, Spain was the only country where small shopkeepers posted a further drop, just over three percent, in trade last month after having hit a European Union high in August.

So, do not be surprised if you see shopkeepers dancing in the streets once it starts raining...


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