Palma.—Last Sunday was the first occasion on which shops in a designated area of central Palma had remained open to customers during a Sales period. Although there were enough people to warrant the shops opening, there were no bargain hungry crowds to speak of, representatives of small to medium-sized business associations agreed yesterday.

Reportedly, the heat and the temptation of a day on the beach proved more attractive even than the department stores and chain stores which have recently been so successful in their contribution to Sunday opening.

However, bars, cafeterias and restaurants in the centre of Palma, particularly those with terraces were doing better trade last Sunday than normal. There appeared to be more people enjoying a cold drink at tables out on the pavement than there were browsing along shop windows.

The general view of retailers, according to a business association survey, is that these Summer Sales haven't got off to such a good start this year as the same period in 2011.

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