January sales in full swing in Palma, Majorca. | P. PELLICER


The sales in Palma, Majorca start on Black Friday but the best offers don’t usually appear until after January 6.

This week the streets are crammed with people looking for bargains, but not everyone is cashing in.

The large stores got wise to internet competition and are now putting their products online where sales start at midnight on January 6, making it easier for customers to find what they want at rock bottom prices.

But small businesses don't usually have a website, so they can't compete and they're suffering.

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The President of Pimeco, Toni Fuster, and the Manager of Afedeco, Antonio Vilella, both agree that January 7, which used to be highly anticipated by traders was disappointing this year.

“Today has not been very good, although we expect to match last year's turnover," said Mr Fuster. We don't have high expectations,” said Vilella, adding that “in addition to factors such as the liberalisation of sales and the Internet, the loss of consumer confidence and a slowdown in the growth of the economy that can lead to job cuts doesn’t help.”

Retailers have to compete with online shopping

Meanwhile, El Corte Inglés says its Christmas sales campaign has been "very positive,” but also recognises “the increasing weight of 'online' purchases,” and hopes that “discounts of 40 and 50% in practically all of its clothing will be enough to motivate customers to spend their money.”

Do you prefer shopping online or do you like to get out and search for a bargain?