Black Friday, Palma.

Black Friday, Palma. archive photo.

04-11-2020Jaume Morey

Black Friday is more than three weeks away, but websites are already bursting at the seams with bargains.

The annual shopping extravaganza started in America and has now spread all over the world with shops slashing prices to the bone on the last Friday in November, which this year falls on November 27.

For traders in Mallorca, Black Friday has always been a day of bumper sales with tills ringing all day long, but along the way the rules have changed. Now the sales last all weekend, so we not only have Black Friday, we also have Cyber Monday.

Thousands of people in the Balearic Islands deliberately wait until Black Friday to take advantage of the sales to buy clothes and shoes for the winter and to save some money on their Christmas shopping.

Online sales during Black Friday weekend are increasing every year and the President of the Association of Freight Carriers of the Balearics, Ezequiel Horrach is forecasting a 30% increase in online sales compared to 2019.

El Corte Inglés is slightly more optimistic, forecasting a 35% increase in online sales on November 27, compared to 25% last year.

Amazon couldn't wait, it started cutting prices at the beginning of the month and the big stores were quick to jump on the bandwagon. Fear over store closures has driven up online sales of toys and technology products, but while customers are snapping up bargains online, small businesses are suffering.

Afedeco President, Antoni Gayà has criticised what it calls the Administration’s lack of support and its "message of fear" delivered to the population not to take to the streets.

"We must encourage people to go out and comply with security measures otherwise there will be no sales,” said Gayà, who pointed out that Afedeco asked the Administration to promote a digital sales platform back in March, and claims that “even if the measures do come now it will be too late.”

Palma City Council wants to allow traders to set up shop in the streets in the run up to Christmas to boost sales, in much the same way as restaurants and bars have been allowed to commandeer parking spaces in the city. On Monday, a meeting was held between Pimeco, Palma Mayor, José Hila, Economic Promotion Councillor, Rodrigo Romero, and Sustainable Mobility Councillor, Francesc Dalmau to discuss the issue.

"This week we want to close the proposed streets, but time is running out and we want the initiative to start on Black Friday,” says Pimeco President, Toni Fuster.

Pimeco is proposing that a study be launched to decide which streets would be best and has suggested that Carrer del Baró de Santa Maria del Sepulcre, Carrer del Baró de Pinopar, part of Carrer de l’Arxiduc Lluis Salvador, Carrer del 31 de Desembre and Carrer de Cotlliure be considered. It’s also demanding a stronger Police presence to prevent theft.

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