There are six substantial supermarkets for what is a regular population of 20,000 | EFE

Always be wary of drawing conclusions simply based on random observation, but I have to say that I’ve been forming an impression that holiday rental accommodation in Alcudia has never had it so good.

I nip into my local Eroski most days; there’s always something that’s needed. This regularity has helped with the impression. Trolleys to overflowing being wheeled around by customers who are clearly holidaymakers are not an uncommon sight, but there seem to be far more of them than I can recall in the past (those good old pre-Covid days).

These are obviously not holidaymakers who will be heading back to Club Mac or Bellevue having completed their supermarket sweeps. They’ve got the week’s shopping in for a villa or whatever.

I mention this because the opposition Junts Avançam in Pollensa is challenging a modification of the municipal general urban plan by which there will be more large stores on an expanded industrial estate.

These might not all be supermarkets, but Junts specifically refer to supermarkets. The party is against development of this type on the grounds that it will further harm small businesses in Pollensa and in the port. In this regard, I have to say that I agree with Junts.

But this raises a question as to how many supermarkets are needed, and whether there would indeed be any new supermarkets. The large retailers, with models of population and what have you, don’t establish new stores for the sake of it.

However, these models for places such as Alcudia and Pollensa will take account of the floating population, in particular the holidaymakers staying in holiday rental accommodation, of which there is a great deal in both municipalities.

So, it isn’t a relatively straightforward study which, without tourists, would be based on the size of the local population within a certain distance. In Alcudia, unless I’m forgetting any, there are six substantial supermarkets for what is a regular population of 20,000, to which one would have to add the population of Playa de Muro (very small in winter, but not in the summer, and also served by Can Picafort).

A typical model would suggest that six are too many; one of them closes in winter, which does rather prove this point. But in summer, it is probably the case that there aren’t enough, albeit that tourist supermarkets hoover up some of the demand.

There may well be scope for another supermarket in Pollensa (which has a smaller resident population than Alcudia), but this would mostly be because of the floating population.

Retailers would have to calculate the benefits, knowing that demand will slump in the winter. I don’t think that Junts need to worry too much about there being several.