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The ghost Christmas of the Catalan shops

After three months weighed down by political uncertainty, the parties also do not get to resurrect the sales

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The ghost Christmas of the Catalan shops

"In fifteen days y have called almost twenty people to dismantle office because y leave. Then to buy come few... " Cristian Amenedo has skin of matte hands of so much bustling. He has been in family shop for sale of office furniture for fifteen years. In ir premises, in area where y used to be encantes, tables and cabinets, chairs, a world ball of a megalomaniac size, and an army of shelves are piled up. It is what best places, "to twenty eurytus, because people who leave need to keep things in storage rooms." But for rest of material re is no exit: There are many vendors and few buyers. "You've noticed a lot about independence. It's a crazy task "and although he recognizes that his business is always in danger, now he has trouble squaring accounts. He saves him, he confesses, he works alone.

"Jeeeefe!" There comes a customer who has a shelf butchers and Cristian comes out as if to put a whole office. "See? A bookshelf. I'm not selling anything else. "

A few hundred meters from business of Cristian, family of Lourdes Castellví has 75 years selling furniture of all kinds. They have also noticed that market has slowed down. October was not good and November has been worse. "My far always said it: Wet streets, empty drawers. There are elections, sales stop; Attack, y stop; Strike, let's not talk anymore; Political instability, everything is for... " According to Lourdes, numbers are worse than last year.

The concern in PIMEC Commerce – confederation representing small and medium-sized traders of Catalonia-is evident. So during last weeks of October y did a study to see how political situation affected pocket of ir associates. "We were surprised," says his secretary General, Àlex Goñi-"We knew October was bad, but perceptions were really bad and y followed in November." Goñi explains that whoever has to make an investment at home prefers to wait. That's why decorating shops, appliances or refurbishing companies are suffering especially. Even though sales drop has hit all sectors. According to PIMEC's report, six out of ten traders are clear that political instability is cause. And downside is that y don't see any recovery for Christmas campaign. "It's not that people don't waste, y don't have joy. As we say here ' no Tens cap ', you don't have head to buy... you're in or things, with or worries. "

The concern of Cava

"Can we be optimistic? Complicated. " Octavio Redondo, sells Catalan artisan cava from its web, Club of Cava. "Due to political and social situation, consumption of cava has fallen in Spanish territory", he says, "and it hurts some companies that have nothing to do with political decisions that are being taken".

Christmas doesn't solve ballot for last few months. What's more, y fear that ghost of boycott spoii feast of a product that would have to be consumed more at this time. It is a story that repeats, says Redondo, since 2005. It saves foreign market. And yet it is not easy to succeed in Europe eir. "We have two tough competitors," he explains, "Italian sparkling wines that sell very well for ir price and French champagne that, with ir prestige, occupies a premium area."

With such a panorama, traditional wineries and small distributors, like him, are in trouble: "It is not best situation for companies, because we are small and we do not have financial muscle to face it." And because solution doesn't depend on m eir.

You can see lack of consumer joy in streets. Beyond frenetic tingling of commercial circuit of Paseo de Gracia, in neighborhoods Christmas lights illuminate a party that does not exist. In small fashion shops of Born, few customers who enter receive an attention in or times unthinkable. In one of most commercial areas of Poblenou gentrified, design shops languish with reflection of colorful light bulbs in shop windows. Carlos Armengol has a Portuguese shop and is worried because, like rest of his neighbors, does not believe that holidays resurrected sales. "We are a few days of Christmas and nothing. Everyone is on lookout and when thing is in expectation it stays all stopped. " It says that a Portuguese company with a delegation in Spain that usually order baskets for customers this year has not called. "I suppose with situation as it is said: this year all still. And it's not that you're in favor or against procés. I'm in favor of paying bills. At end of month, bills are going to fall same. "

Like rest of shops in area, Carlos and his partner Ricardo noticed it especially in month of October. No one came in. All y had left was to put TV on computer and look for last hour. "Every day at seven o'clock re was something going on. When Rajoy did not go out, Santamaría or Puigdemont saying his... or people went to center to ask for freedom of Jordis. " And historical days are not good for business. Nor is this that qualifies as a tense calm that is erasing Christmas.

That same October without customers was repeated in many shops. As in Vivian Tavares ' wine and tasting shop: "I have sold 15% less than last year and that which I had just opened. This year I had a little more hope, but holidays are not noticeable. I don't even notice anyone. " This Brazilian, who has been in Barcelona for fifteen years, recognizes that he is a little afraid, but prefers to pull optimism. He's got no choice. "We are in a impasse, it is like emptiness, black hole in which we have gotten and no one knows very well."

All have marked 21st on calendar. But with a question mark. What happens next? Whatever happens, what is clear is that y will have to continue paying ir bills and struggling for ir business.

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