The mayor of Torremolinos, José Ortiz, has set up a special action body specifically to address the problem of a decline in the shopping area in the resort.
Despite strong visitor numbers and investment in a town restoration programme, the drop in sales in the shops and the flight of well-known brand names is harming economic regeneration, says the council. Many business owners blame all-inclusive packages in the nearby hotels for keeping visitors away from their businesses.
Faced with a lack of agreement over possible solutions, the mayor is bringing together all political parties, public authorities, companies and associations.
However, rivalry between two business associations is causing tension. The ACET supports the pedestrianisation of the town centre and the construction of the planned giant Intu centre on the outskirts, while the CET is against the moves for the "possible negative effects" on small businesses.
The head of the CET, Adolfo Triguero, says that local shop sales are down about 30 per cent on average in the last year.