El Corte Inglés, which has experienced increased online demand. | Teresa Ayuga


Since the state of alarm was declared, online sales by supermarkets in the Balearics have increased fivefold. This has required a reinforcement of online departments, but this increased demand has not been confined to supermarkets. El Corte Inglés, for example, says that online sales for all its products have risen by 80%, with Majorca being one of the main markets for this online selling.

The department store chain, which filed for ERTE for most of its workforce in Spain, has been able to transfer 250 employees in Majorca to online operations. At present, the temporary layoffs under ERTE terms apply to just a quarter of the workforce in Majorca.

Of the supermarkets, Eroski recruited 400 people through the employment offices in the Balearics for its 108 stores on the islands. Regional director Aldredo Herráez says that this recruitment was in order to deal with the high levels of demand in March as well as to bring in staff for control purposes. Online sales have gone up, he adds, because there are many people who don't want to go out. The numbers in stores have now decreased from what they were in the early stages of the state of alarm - customers are buying more, but less often.

Store sales rose by some sixteen per cent, but Herráez points out that prospects for the rest of the year aren't so good. "If there is only internal consumption, this will be insufficient to compensate for the increases in sales of 40% that we normally register in summer."