The January sales have come early to Malaga with some shops offering steep discounts normally reserved for after 7 January. Retailers said it is an attempt to entice customers who may be still reluctant to spend.
The first sales signs began appearing last week, as early as 23 December. Chains such as Cortefiel and Charanga, small shops such as Encuentro and Menta, and entire shopping centres such as Designer Outlet Malaga, are offering discounts of up to 50 per cent, a boon to Spaniards who usually give gifts on 6 January.
Some retailers have taken a different approach by offering special promotions and discounts over the holiday season including El Corte Inglés, Springfield and Bershka. El Corte Inglés launched its 'Happy 2022' campaign with special discounts until 5 January, the date prior to the official start of their sales.
The proliferation of posters announcing sales, offers and special promotions is evidence of tough times, according to some shop owners.
María Rosa Bandera, the owner of Menta, said she would prefer not to offer sales so soon. "I have put them up to see if sales increase because we have had a very bad year," she said.
Bandera, who owns two shops on Calle Especería, said customers appear unwilling to spend and the sales are an attempt to increase interest. "The centre is full of people who come to walk, but not to buy," she added.
Shoppers however said the sales are welcome, especially those who tend to leave gift buying to the last minute. Elena Pardo, who took advantage of sales at Cortefiel, said, "I have a lot of purchases left to make and we have to take advantage of the discounts because there is not much room for excessive spending.”
Blanca López, who was on the lookout for style bargains, said, “I love this time because you can find clothes at a very good price.” Even though she has bought everything she needs, she enjoys the thrill of the sales. “Something unexpected always happens at the last minute,” she added.