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ISLAND traders described the net results of their Winter “Sales” season, which comes to a close on Majorca today, as “positive”.
They estimate, however, that sales have been poor, due particularly to consumers tightening the reins on their spending and also to fine weather early in the year which discouraged people from purchasing yet more winter clothing. Angel Pujol, secretary general of a small and medium-sized business association in the Balearics (PIMEM), explained that the sales this year have fulfilled the chief aim, which is to sell off existing stock. In general, however, there has been a less than average response to price reductions, principally because of families on Majorca being much more circumspect about parting with hard-earned euros. The “go-slow” trend in the sales period, which has been in evidence since the turn of the year, has made it hard for shopkeepers to sell off remaining stock. Pujol reported that the first week of sales provided brisk trading, but following an encouraging start, the pace slowed progressively, and only in the final week has business picked up again. The secretary confirmed that because the weather trend had proved unexpectedly sunny with little rain, many shops had begun to display their Spring collection just at the time when a cold climatic front had hit the Islands bringing rain and bitterly cold temperatures. Traders are, however, optimistic for the coming Spring, partly due to the expected healthy upturn in tourist spending and steady economic recovery in the region.