It would be premature to postpone Belgium's summer sales from July to August, according to Comeos, the trade federation representing the major fashion retailers, despite various organisations and politicians calling for them to be pushed back.
"To imagine that sales in all shops can immediately resume at normal prices is unfortunately wishful thinking," Comeos said in a press release.
"In addition, uncertainty about the recession will lead consumers to put the brakes on the purchase of non-essential goods such as clothing. It is therefore crucial that consumers are able to benefit quickly from discounts once stores reopen."
Also, Belgians "do not live on an island," Comeos said, meaning that if neighbouring countries did have sales in July, Belgians would go to those other countries to buy clothes and Belgian shops would "risk losing turnover again."
Federal Minister for Economy Nathalie Muylle would support pushing back sales by a month, she said on Sunday in De Zevende Dag, a Flemish TV show. Minister of Independents Denis Ducarme has also voiced his support for pushing the sales back.
The government will decide on this in the coming weeks, Muylle said. According to Comeos, a decision on when the sales should happen should only be decided once the shops are able to reopen.
The Brussels Times