THE Balearic Trade Federation (Afedeco) has estimated that sales during the Christmas trading period have fallen between four and five percent in comparison with figures for last year.

The group's vice-president, Pere Pau Mesquida, was speaking yesterday at the signing of an agreed programme entitled “Palma, a City for Shoppers”.
Nevertheless, Angel Pujol, secretary for Pimeco, the association of small and medium-sized businesses on Majorca, explained that although there are still no specific trading figures, the Palma shopping promotional campaign, is “functioning well”.

According to Pujol, the campaign has generated “a great influx of people” in the streets of Palma.
He attributed the success to the “involvement” in this, and other campaigns, by the traders of Palma themselves. “Never before have the small traders enjoyed such brisk business to boost the commercial fabric of the city” said Pujol.
He went on to claim that this success has been complemented by an increase in leisure and cultural activities on offer in the centre of Palma.
The Chamber of Commerce of Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera has contributed 120'000 euros to this project, the City Council 95'000 euros, while the traders have invested 60'000 euros, said the vice-president.

The president of the chamber, Miquel Llado, estimated the growth this year in the sector at one percent, which he believed “isn't a particularly favourable scenario”.

It is difficult, he said, to make a diagnosis of the impact of the campaign until it is over.
He emphasised that the small businesses have had to confront the change of habits of the consumers and compete with establishments situated on the outskirts of the city, as well as having to tolerate the negative effect of the construction and repair works which have been going on over the last few years in Palma.

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