Summer sales get underway amid excess stock and lack of tourists

Traders face uncertainty after lengthy lockdown closures

Discounts advertised in Diagonal Mar shopping mall, July 1, 2020 (by Aina Martí)
Discounts advertised in Diagonal Mar shopping mall, July 1, 2020 (by Aina Martí) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 1, 2020 06:36 PM

Following on from almost three months of closures during lockdown, retailers are now facing a very unusual summer sales campaign.

The drop in sales during confinement means many shops now have excess stock, with their difficulties compounded by the current lack of international tourists.

"This year is very atypical, many things have come together, so we do not know how effective the discount campaigns will be," said Àlex Goñi, president of PIMEComerç, the commercial leg of Catalonia's biggest businesses association. 

Goñi also pointed out that "the July sales have been weak for years," adding that he expects it will be smaller shops who try to "take advantage" of the sales this season.

Maika, director of the Raima stationery store in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter explained that 2020 is proving a unique challenge. "We have no historical comparison. This is the first year that we are facing a summer campaign without tourists."

With July 1 traditionally marking the first day of summer sales in Catalonia, Carlos López, manager of Diagonal Mar’s Superdry store, said he did notice an "improvement" compared to recent days, but said "it is not the same boom" as other years. 

In fact, some of the people walking around the mall admitted that they didn’t even know there were sales on and that they had already bought the "minimum" they needed online.

One Barcelona resident, Marta, said she planned to have a look, but had "already bought before the sales, online, because I needed clothes for June."