By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
OVER the past two years, a total of 2'000 shops have closed in Majorca and 60 percent of those have been in Palma.
But, according to retail associations Pimeco and Afedeco, it is not only the recession which is taking its toll, it is also the fact that in some parts of Palma, too many shops have opened during the boom time.

Experts explained yesterday that many of the new blocks of apartments built over the past decade on the outskirts of Palma included commercial properties on the ground floor and, while the economy was growing rapidly, many people, quite often with no or little business experience, were opening businesses.

However, faced by the recession over the past 20 months, many of these businesses have been forced to close.
In suburbs like Cala Major and Pont d'Inca, for example, most of the businesses which have closed are bars.
And the prospects for new businesses continues to look rather bleak.
Apparently, 60 percent of new shops and bars are closing within three years. “In the boom times, we were all business people, everyone was opening a bar or a shop but it's not that easy,” said the President of the small business association Pimeco, Bernat Coll. “Outside of Palma, shop keepers may be paying 600 euros per month for their retail outlay, but in Palma, in calle Sindicato for example, the rents are around 3'000 euros per month. That's a lot of money and many people are just throwing in the towel,” Coll added.

A number of stores are going to wait until the end of the winter sales to see if there is an up turn in trade, but, if consumer confidence remains fragile, small shops left with mountains of unsold stock may decide to close before Easter.

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