Andalucia to limit sales season and opening hours

Two years ago, a new national law gave stores more powers to decide when to hold sales. Previously, the regional governments would establish sales seasons, and outside of those seasons, sales were illegal. The same law extended opening hours and Sunday openings.

But the Director General of Commerce for the Junta de Andalucia, María del Carmen Cantero, has decided to roll back the times and once again establish strict controls over when sales can be held, and is planning a new Andalusian law. She’s also going to once again regulate opening hours, meaning shops will be closed in the evenings and on Sundays outside of tourism zones.

Maria reckons that the ability to hold sales at any point in the year is a “step in the wrong direction” for small businesses, who can’t compete with the big chains. Maria says 97% of all shops in Andalucia are small companies or family businesses who are “severely damaged” by extended opening hours and sales seasons.

The DG added that the commerce law introduced two years ago was a “severe blow” for family shops across Spain, and also said that the opening up of US/EU trade barriers and the extinction of the “old rent scheme” were all low blows for them.

Sales will in future be held in the summer and winter once the new law is approved in Feb. “This will benefit small and medium shops, consumers and the self employed” said a firm Maria earlier today on the radio.

Maria also said that despite having increased the number of inspection in shops over the last two years, the number of fines levied to shopholders had dropped 18%, mainly due to a new scheme of issuing warnings instead of fines for first and small offences.

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