Palma.—The freeing up of the retail sector enabling stores to offer discounts and special offers throughout the year, as opposed to only during the two Summer and Winter sales periods, appear to have not only confused the retail sector but also had a negative affect on trade during the first official week of the Winter sales.

According to Pimeco, the Majorcan Association of Small to Medium Sized Businesses during the week January 7 to January 13, 68 percent of the association's members claim to have done less trade than during the same period last year.

And, according to Pimeco sources, the changes in the retail laws has caused a great deal of confusion within the retail sector with consumers able to cash in on special offers all year round.

Market research
Pimeco's market research study has revealed that only eight percent of the clothing, footwear and accessories sectors maintain that business has been better than last year while 24 percent claim that takings have been on par with 2012.

According to Pimeco, the latest findings match what they forecast in the build up to the same with seven percent of retailers expecting trade to be brisker, 35 percent the same and 58 percent worse than last year.

And, according to 31 percent of Pimeco members, the start of the winter sales has pretty much panned out as they forecast.
But, 69 percent feel let down and frustrated and the poor response from consumers despite the fantastic offers available.
Recession
67 percent of those blame the overall lack of clients and record low consumer confidence, 33 percent quite simply understand that people just have not got the money to spend this year as the recession continues to grip Majorca and the Balearics as a whole and jobs continue to be lost with benefits curtailed.

Sources for Pimeco said that if you add to that the freeing up of the retail sector, people are no longer saving up for the sales, they are able to cash in on bargains throughout the year and that caught much of the retail sector out as it is traditionally used to waiting for the two annual sales period.

But, Pimeco have not given up all hope and are holding out for a u-turn in trade towards the end of this month when prices will be slashed further as stores battle to shift unwanted winter stock. “What we need is a good sharp cold snap” one trader said yesterday.

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