The traditional summer sales in Belgium kicked off on Sunday, for one month, with businesses in the garments and footwear sector hoping for a good season after a disappointing spring.
Both COMEOS, the federation of trade and services, and the SNI, which represents small businesses, report their members as saying that spring sales were lower than in the corresponding period of last year.
While online sales have been on the increase, this was not enough to offset lower in-store sales. The Spring season had begun well but experienced a downturn from late April. According to COMEOS, sales in January-May were 3.8% lower than in the corresponding period of 2018.
“Eighty-five percent of shoe or clothing stores among our members noticed a drop in their turnover or status quo compared to Spring of last year,” says SNI President Christine Mattheeuws. In late June the organisation’s members recorded a 2% turnover loss in Spring 2019 over the previous year’s spring, including online sales.
“Moreover, the year before (2018) had already not been a very good one, with a -3% drop compared to the previous spring (2017),” Mattheeuws noted.
As a result, stores started off the Summer sales on Sunday with a sizeable stock of goods, offering consumers a fairly wide range of choices.