Palma all set for the summer sales.

Over the past few days many shops in the centre of Palma have been posting signs in their windows offering discounts of 40 to 70 percent in preparation for the summer sales which this year will begin tomorrow, 29 June, as opposed to the traditional 1 July, because that is Sunday.

So, the d epartment store El Corte Inglés and the main high street chains, in particular the clothing outlets, are going to be kicking off their sales with highly attractive discounts tomorrow morning.

Despite complaints from the small to medium sized retailers who maintain they cannot compete with such large discounts, the law which governed and controlled the sales periods was scrapped in 2012 and since then, the free market has allowed retailers to offer discounts throughout the year.

The liberalisation of the market and the introduction of large commercial events such as Black Friday at the end of November and online shopping have totally changed the retail picture.

An estimated 60 percent of consumers in Spain are expected to do their sales shopping online which will hit the small retailers even more.

But, despite all the hurdles the high streets face today, the majority of retailers are upbeat about the sales.

For the most part of June, sales were sluggish, mainly because of the poor weather - demand for summer clothes etc. was below normal.

However, now that summer has finally arrived and temperatures are back to normal, most retailers are confident that there will be a good response to the sales from resident consumers and holiday makers.During the sales period, 1,600 extra staff are being taken on, according to employment agency Adecco.