The sales period in Belgium will officially start on 1 August instead of 1 July this summer, as the push back has been approved by the Parliamentary Committee on Economy.
The fashion sector has been asking for a while to postpone sales in order to make up for the losses caused by shops closing down during the coronavirus lockdown.
Shops have been allowed to reopen from 11 May, and now have the chance to sell their collections at normal prices before the sales period starts. “The postponement of the sales will allow traders to better manage their stocks,” Denis Ducarme, Minister for the Middle Class, told De Standaard.
“A necessary measure for our badly affected fashion sector,” Isolde Delanghe, director of the trade association Mode Unie said, in a press release. “Mode Unie is also very pleased that the voice of the independent fashion sector has influenced the policy. In this way, the government gives fashion stores the much-needed breathing space to sell their summer stock one month longer at a normal margin,” she added.
The period preceding sales, in which all discounts are banned, will take place in July instead of June.
Belgium is the only European country with such an arrangement (referred to in French as the pre-sales period or in Dutch as the waiting or closed period), which is meant to protect small retailers and consumers from deceiving pricing from larger businesses.