Like many other countries, once Christmas is over it follows a period of sales where department stores try to get those last savings you heroically managed not to spend on Christmas. Well, this sales period (called Rebajas) is especially relevant in Spain for several reasons:
As you know from our last entry, in Spain Christmas is officially over after the Epiphany on January 6th. That marks the start of Rebajas. But there's something even more important for the start of Rebajas than this particular date, and that would be when does El Corte Inglés decide to start it.
El Corte Inglés is, by a fair margin, the biggest department store chain in Spain. It is so big that they are the ones to set the starting time of the sales period. Then the other shops and department stores get benefited from the big marketing campaign launched by this company. Usually, every 7th of January there will be very long queues on every Corte Inglés in the country before they open their doors. These people queuing will anxiously run straight to the clothing section in search for the biggest bargain of the day.
Another measure to point how relevant this period is that you only have to look at the average spending during this time. This year, the Spaniards will spend an average of 80€ on clothes during this period. This is 33% less than last year, due to the economic crisis. If that number did not impress you, bear in mind that, today, almost 26% of the active population in Spain is unemployed, so the effort these people have to make in order for this number to be this big is impressive, to say the least.
Oh, and by the way, if you are in Spain or planning to go soon, remember that they have one of the cheapest clothes pricings in Europe (partially due to Inditex headquarters being lcoated in Spain) and their sales end on February 28th! So you may want to schedule a quick trip to gear up for the rest of the year.