Palma.—Yesterday, PIMECO, the small to medium sized commercial association said that trade during the summer sales “bombed” by 17 percent in comparison to last year and that most small retailers have been left with nearly 63 percent of unsold stock.

In conclusion, 62 percent of island's small and independent retailers have described the sales as “poor” and “extremely unsatisfactory” with only nine percent of the sector claiming that they enjoyed more business than last year.

PIMECO sources said that the sales got off to a good start two months ago, on par with the past two previous years, but then there was a sudden drop in interests from consumers who have continued to tighten their belts.

Cruise ship myth
PIMECO also poured cold water on the myth of the income generated by the cruise ships visiting Palma because not even the influx of thousands of cruise passengers visiting the capital manage to compensate for the lack of resident consumer confidence. PIMECO sources said that over the past few years, retailers have noticed a change in consumers' shopping habits and that the sales are no longer an attraction.

Perhaps, the fact that the change in commercial law which now allows the retail sector to offer discounts and sales throughout the year may help but PIMECO is worried that the dire summer sales results will lead to the closure of further small businesses and the loss of even more jobs. “The economic results for the vast majority of small retailers are clear insufficient when heading into another complicated winter. “With an ever increasing number of businesses having to work on smaller and smaller margins, many will be driven to the point where it is no longer productive to continue trading.” Lift consumer spirits “Despite some shops offering savings of up to 80 percent during the last few weeks of the sales, it still was not enough to lift the spirits of the consumers,” PIMECO said in its final report on the sales. “It is going to be a long and very tough winter which many businesses may not survive.”