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    Well-stocked shelves await this year’s summer sales

    This year’s summer sales begin on Saturday since the 1st of July falls on a Sunday and, with their shelves laden with overstock, store owners are expected to offer enticing reductions from day one. The Federation of Services and Commerce, Comeos, says its members have positive expectations for the 2018 edition of the sales. “There is still a great deal of unsold stock in stores, so most businesses will start with nice reductions, which will gradually increase,” it says.

    The Neutral Union for Freelancers, SNI, which represents small and medium-sized businesses, professionals and other self-employed persons, confirmed the large amount of leftover stock, which it said was due to lower sales last year.  A survey it conducted among its members showed that 60% of businesses have sold less since the winter sales and only 16% did better than in 2017. However, close to eight out of 10 businesses expect to sell at least as much as last year during the summer sales.

    The survey’s respondents – mainly small businesses like boutiques and shoe stores –  expect to apply reductions of between 20% and 30% in the first few days, the union said. “However, consumers should not focus only on the percentages, but look at what they can save in absolute terms,” SNI head Christine Mattheeuws said. “Having 20% or 30% taken off an article costing 100 euros is much more interesting that 70% off a 10-euro purchase,” she explained.

    Because of the huge reductions expected in the coming days, the Union of Middle Classes (UCM) is expecting its members to experience an average 1.5%-drop in gross turnover compared to last year. It attributes the overstock to weather conditions that were unfavourable to the clothing sector.

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times