The sales got under way today.

01-07-2016Teresa Ayuga

The summer sales officially got under way today with the retail sector divided on how they expect consumers to respond.

Pimeco, the association of small to medium sized businesses, said that they expect trade to increase by between three and five per cent. This is slightly below exceptions and down on last year.

Pimeco's president, Bernat Coll, said that the main reason for a slight contraction in trade is that domestic consumer confidence had taken a bit of a knock over the past few months and the ongoing political uncertainty is not helping either.

However, Coll is confident that their saving grace is going to be the tourist industry. With the sales coinciding with a packed peak season, Coll said that tourists are always excellent customers, especially when the sales are on.

He also said that the sales did not hold the attraction they used to since the retail sector was freed up to be able to offer discounts all-year round. Coll added that he would like to see the retail sector regulated again and only permitted to have winter and summer sales during certain set dates, with discounts being prohibited during the rest of the year.

The larger retailers, in particular the department store El Corte Inglés, is looking forward to a very busy trading period. The store has already reported an increase in trade this year thanks to the strong tourist market and expects that trend to continue through the sales.

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