SHOP sales in Palma have fallen by almost 30 percent during the beginning of the autumn/winter season, compared with the same time last year.
Angel Pujol, the General Secretary of PIMECO (an association for small and medium businesses), advised that this fall in sales is due to the late arrival of the colder temperatures. According to his calculations, after this “bad beginning”, shops in Palma will not experience the same high level of sales as last year, and they will not be able to get rid of all their stock, despite the arrival of the January sales next year. During a radio interview on Ultima Hora Punto Radio with information researched by Europa Press, Pujol attributed this decrease, which he compared with the sales registered last year, to the weather and the fall in inflation rates. The President of Afedeco, Bartolmé Servera, recognised this fall in sales but did not calculate on these high percentages that Pujol has estimated.
Servera admitted that 2004 will be “a worst year than what we at first hoped it would be.” One debate that is currently being aired in Majorca between the smaller shops and the larger stores and hypermarkets is the need for flexible opening hours. On the one side of the argument, the larger stores are indeed more for flexible opening hours, for example on Sundays, especially during this run-up to Christmas when most people always need those few extra hours to buy presents and necessities. On the other hand, the smaller shops are opposing the need to have flexible opening hours and want to continue with the normal shop opening times all year round. A campaign is also being run to help boost shop sales in Palma during these autumn and winter months by the Palma city council.
Over Christmas the city council is expected to organise a number of activities to encourage Christmas shoppers.
Christmas is naturally a make or break time for shopkeepers in the capital.

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