FAN Mallorca Shopping will be obliged to close under the government's short-term regulations. | Miquel À. Cañellas

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The ANGED association of large retailers has attacked what it describes as an "unfair smear campaign" by the Balearic government. Being forced to close on holidays and at weekends over the next ten days, the association says, will have an "irreparable impact" on businesses.

The association states that its members have demonstrated "exemplary behaviour" during the pandemic. They have supplied the public and they have implemented health measures. "It is therefore not understandable that an administration discourages buying in our establishments and instils fear into the public."

"Because of their size, hypermarkets, department stores and specialist retailers contribute the most to the avoidance of crowds. They allow greater personal distance, capacity control and application of preventive measures."

ANGED believes that there is "clear discrimination" in the government forcing large stores to close on January 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 and 10.

The government has, meanwhile, altered its tone somewhat. Criticisms from ANGED and the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations have led to a message of "it's better to go shopping alone" (in general, therefore). Previously, there was a recommendation of going alone to shopping centres because of a risk of infection.

The association reports good business on Wednesday and anticipates that this coming Monday will particularly busy, as there will be shoppers buying last-minute gifts for Three Kings.

The government's measure has some impact on food shopping, but only some. Supermarkets such as Eroski will be open. The company has said that all of its supermarkets in Mallorca will be open (those which are scheduled to be open, that is, as not all of them are open in winter); hours have been altered to 08.00 to 20.00 to meet a government regulation regarding earlier closing. However, hypermarkets and large department stores with supermarket sections, e.g. Alcampo and El Corte Inglés, are affected.