Confcommercio, the national confederation of retail traders, has announced that the summer sales of retail goods will begin in Rome on 5 July. The only cities that precede Rome in opening the sales are Naples (2 July) and Genoa (4 July). Discounts of around 30 per cent can be expected on most items.

Confcommercio has also published reminders to consumers and vendors about the rules regarding the sales. Shopkeepers are obliged to display both the full and discounted price of all items on sale; they must accept the credit cards displayed on their windows as payment during sales; unless the item is damaged shopkeepers do not have to accept returns on sale items, nor are they obliged to allow customers to try on items.

Consumers are not the only ones eagerly awaiting the beginning of the summer sales; many vendors are hoping that the sales will bring relief to a very slow selling season. Renato Borghi, vice-president of Confcommercio, says that the summer sales should indeed provide an important boost for the retail sector even though they can only make up in part for the low sales.

According to Confcommercio every family will spend on average