Hard-up shoppers hunt for sales buys

Photo of Teresa Ribera at the Cepsa plant in Tenerife. Credit: [email protected]

THE sales rush has begun. But most shoppers have less to spend.

With the two-month long winter sales officially starting on Monday, traders early on identified that shoppers were out and about seeking the best bargains.

For many people, Monday was an official holiday following Three Kings falling over a weekend, and this saw many malls crowded with bargain-seeking shoppers, with the majority anxious for special deals and heavily-discounted items.

Ana Fernandez, a shop assistant in Spanish chain Mango, saw an early rush of customers like last year. “Customers hurried through our doors to snap up reductions, including many cut to half price,” she said.

Helena Martinez from El Corte Ingles also noted an early sales surge. “It’s hard to say officially, but the store seemed as busy as last year. Our special deals and some 70 per cent offers encouraged consumers looking for that extra bargain.” She said it was too soon to know if shoppers had more or less money to spend.

But according to official statistics, the ongoing economic difficulties throughout Spain mean shoppers have less to spend in the winter sales than one year ago.

A recent Independent User-Consumer Federation (FUCI) survey revealed the Spanish will spend an average €80 in this year’s winter sales, 11.1 per cent less than in 2011.

Two in three people indicated they plan to bargain hunt, but 83 per cent of those in the survey indicated they will spend less this year.

Clothes are the top item for 67 per cent of shoppers, with other percentages indicated being accessories (21), technology (7) and leisure items (4).

Costa del Sol expatriate Susan Williams admitted to checking out the sales on the opening day in Marbella, but spent less than previously.

“My grandchildren were totally spoilt at Christmas, leaving very little spare opportunity to treat myself. However, I did manage to bag myself a great bargain in C&A.”

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