After nearly 100 years of state regulation, the first voluntarily co-ordinated summer sale start in Germany on Monday. After the abolition of the official sale, more than two thirds of all businesses will take part in this first voluntary one, according to a survey by the Federation of German Retail Trade (HDE). The fixed end-of-July dates for the yearly summer clearance sales were abolished in June 2004. Instead a new law against unfair competition now allows shops to decide on their own seasonal sales and discounts. As well as clothing, furniture and electrical goods can now be offered and the restrictions on the discounting of textiles, leather goods and sports article which were in place before the unfair competition law was introduced have also been lifted.