Clothing and footwear retailers enjoyed the bulk of the interest yesterday.

The summer sales officially got under way in Palma yesterday, two days earlier than expected because the traditional start date, July, is tomorrow, Sunday.

It was difficult to judge the over all response on the high street but the department store El Cortes Inglés said that it is expecting a busy sales period, mainly because of the late arrival of the hot weather.

The clothing, footwear and accessory sector in general had a slow May and June because of the unusual weather, but now that the temperatures have risen and summer has arrived in earnest, demand for summer clothing has significantly increased and just at the right time for the commercial sector.

But there are also great offers to be had on electrical goods, home furnishings and sportswear with some high street outlets opening their doors yesterday morning offering savings of 70 percent.

On average, prices have been slashed by 40 to 50 percent but the determined bargain hunter will be able to find some real bargains.

The sales will continue until the end of August and as the weeks pass, the discounts will increase as stores bid to get rid of all their summer stock in order to roll out the winter designs.

The small to medium sized retailers have been complaining about the free market allowing all-year discounts which they cannot compete with, but this is their chance to compete with the rest of the high street and offer some equally attractive savings.