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New Year sales in Spain start with the lowest spending forecast in history

The sales started in El Corte Inglés this Thursday.
The sales started in El Corte Inglés this Thursday. / ÑITO SALAS
  • A business association estimates that turnover will fall by 40 per cent compared to last year due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic

Even the great deals advertised by major chain stores have not been enough able to tempt shoppers into stores as the New Year sales kick-off to a slow start.

The uncertainty caused by the coronavirus and the bad weather have combined to leave both the shopping centres and the main commercial streets almost devoid of shoppers loaded with bags.

The winter sales have begun with the lowest spending forecast in history. According to the calculations of the Spanish Confederation of Commerce, the turnover could fall up by to 40 per cent compared to last year - a huge setback for a sector that has been struggling since last March and that has just finished a Christmas campaign to forget.

The president of the Malaga business federation, Salvador Pérez, estimates that businesses have already lost between 40 and 60 per cent of sales during the recently concluded Christmas period and said, “There is uncertainty since we do not know if new restrictions are going to be implemented."

He claimed the sector is "working only to cover expenses because the aid has not arrived," before adding that, in his opinion, online sales do not cover the sharp drop in sales in physical stores.

Although the 'informal' start of the sales took place this Thursday, the truth is that many stores have already been offering discounts on their products for more than a week. On 7 January the sales began in El Corte Inglés, across the Inditex group stores (especially Zara) and a good proportion of the smaller businesses, which is where the main buyers have concentrated.

Shoppers Laura and her mother Elena were on the look out for bargains. "There are very good offers, especially in branded clothing, which is what we are looking for," explained Elena.