The continuing summer sales seem to have brought the retail market back to life, as turnover is estimated to be some 40 percent higher since mid-July than it was in May and June, when the market was «stuck.» The volume of sales may not have increased over last summer, being close to a 10 percent reduction, but the number of items sold is at least on par with last summer, if not slightly higher. Turnover is less this year as the discounts are greater and shops were allowed to reduce prices even before the start of the sales on July 15. Therefore enterprises are expected to see their profits fall by about 20 percent from last summer’s sales season. The products with an increase in turnover so far are apparel and cosmetics. There was a decline in electrical goods except for air-conditioning units, which soared due to incentives from the Development Ministry. «This year most enterprises resorted to sales, not to increase their profits but in order to retain their former customers,» a retail expert told Kathimerini. Another difference this summer from previous sales is that there is a greater stock of products on the market and it is easier for consumers to find the size or type of product they are looking for. The summer sales will continue until the end of August, but retailers have suggested that it is the first couple of weeks that matter most, before many Greeks leave urban areas for their vacations.