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Ibiza's Retail Revolution

After years of fervent protectionism of its own small retailers the Balearic Government

After years of fervent protectionism of its own small retailers the Balearic Government at last complied with the European Union 'Bolkestein' legislation last December. This states that any business operating legally in one EU country can move into any other without impediment.

Here in Ibiza, this rule was flouted so that big retailers couldn't open large shops on the island and provide competition to the island's existing small retailers.

Now that's all ended and it looks like the first big shop into Ibiza will be Zara. Ibiza town council has granted a license to Inditex, Zara's parent company, to open a shop in premises it's had rented in the town centre for around 3 years. The group already has several small units in Ibiza, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear and Kiddy's Class, and the rumour mill suggests that a Zara Man, Zara Woman and Zara Home will soon join them.

It's also whispered that another five big retailers will be ending some comfortable monopolies on the island, with the words Carrefour and Lidl being bandied about. In recent surveys by our local press a large majority of ordinary people on the island were all for opening up the competition, improving service, prices and variety. So, all those in favour say 'Viva Shopping!'

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