One of the associations representing smaller retailers, Afedeco, wishes to turn the streets of Palma into the first open-air shopping centre in the city. Some aspects of this initiative, aimed at taking on large retailers and projected to start in spring next year, would be a unity of shop image, a shared logo and a harmonisation of opening hours. This is a project that the association has been working on since the summer. It would apply to the main streets but above all to businesses on streets which cross these. Businesses on such streets are the ones which suffer most from the fact that the main streets have the most pedestrian traffic.
Rafael Ballester, the president of Afedeco, says that this would be a project for the “long haul” and that, while initially it would require financing from public sources, the idea is to make self-financing. Support is, therefore, needed from the town hall and from the ministry for employment, trade and industry. There is to be a meeting at the end of the month to consider the concept, with the councillor for trade, Joana Maria Adrover, having already announced that the idea is a positive one as it will attempt to boost the commercial fabric of the city.
If it works, the centre of Palma would not be the only one, as Ballester believes that the city is sufficiently large to be able to have two such commercial centres. However, this project would be the first. Put together speedily and implemented well, it would be possible to then adapt to other places. Afedeco envisages there being between two and four other centres in parts of the city and further ones outside Palma.