DESPITE the summer sales having kicked off with discounts of as much as 70 percent, 75 percent of the retail sector has complained that the sales have failed to meet their expectations.

According to the results of a survey carried out by the small business association, Pimeco, three quarters of retailers have been disappointed by the performances of the first two weeks of the sales which began on July 7.

Ironically, consumer traffic has apparently been higher but, despite many people having headed to the sales with “the intention to buy” few have and 44 percent of retailers questioned have reported that takings are in fact down in comparison to the first two weeks of the sales last year - despite the amazing offers which are normally saved until the tail end of the two-month sales period.

Sources at Pimeco said yesterday that consumer confidence is obviously still low and people are opting to continue saving. High street activity may pick up over the coming weeks, Pimeco admitted it's still early days and it is difficult to predict what consumers are thinking this year, but few retailers can slash their prices even more. Here in the Balearics, the sales start a week later than the rest of Spain in order to try and catch the tourists but there is growing backing for calls for next year's summer sales to begin on the same date as the rest of Spain.