For most of us summer in Spain means sun, sea and sand, but for shopping enthusiasts it also means sales, with the season getting under way at the start of July.
In the city of Valencia, the third largest in Spain, this means big business, and Anged (the regional association of large distribution companies) reports that in the region as a whole they are expecting one and a half million customers in the first week of July alone. At the same time they guarantee that in spite of the volume of business every effort is made to ensure that not only is the quality of product on offer as high as ever, but also the standard of customer service is the same as throughout the rest of the year.
The discounts available on items included in the sales are as high as 70%, with demand traditionally being highest for clothes, footwear, accessories and sports and leisure goods. This is also a key time of year for the sale of electronic goods, with air conditioning units selling especially well as the long summer begins.
As Spain emerges from its long economic slump the hope is that the sales, combined with the option of opening on public holidays, will contribute to the continued recovery of the retail sector, and that this in turn will stimulate other sectors of the regional economy. Over 15% of the products on sale in the region are manufactured here, according to Anged, so increased sales mean more employment and the concomitant increase in potential consumer spending.
At the same time, the extension of opening hours to Sundays and public holidays is, again according to Anged, especially popular among tourists, providing another boost to the sector.
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