THE winter sales start all over the island today, but the President of Afedeco (the shopkeepers association), Bartolome Servera, advised shoppers to take advantage of the sales but to buy only those products which were really necessary for them. He said “buying for buying's sake is absurd”. He declined to predict how the sales would go, saying that estimates were always higher or lower than actual sales and very difficult to predict.
For his part, the secretary of PIMECO (small and medium sized businesses), Angel Pujol, said that Balearic businesses were “optimistic” about the beginning of the sales, although he warned them that the amount of merchandise sold will not “save” the season. Pujol said that the sales were always welcomed by shops when they have had a bad season.
He warned shops about the danger of giving big discounts to sell existing stock as quickly as possible, concentrating the greatest demand into the first few days when the sales last around two months. He underlined the fact that there is a reduced profit on sale items and reminded traders that “a business does not just consist of selling, but in selling with a profit margin so that the company can meet its financial obligations”. He said that the clothing and shoe industries, which had fared worst this season, could be the areas to benefit most from the sales and he considered that the sales were a positive step towards liquidating stock to make room for the new season's products. The press liaison officer of El Corte Ingles, Josep Maria Ramis, said he hoped that sales would continue to rise as they had done in recent weeks during the Christmas campaign. He also said that their stores were offering “attractive” prices on the most popular items which, these days, are winter clothing, shoes and accessories. Consumer associations remind shoppers that their rights are not affected and they should be sure to demand and keep a sales receipt.

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