As the summer sales come to a close this weekend, Belga News Agency is reporting that stores represented by the Neutral Union for Freelancers (SNI) and the Union of the Middle Classes (UCM) saw sales return to pre-Covid levels.
According to the UCM, this summer has seen their strongest sales since 2019, with "the remaining inventories of their summer collection practically sold out. This has not happened since the pandemic began."
With an expected 30% increase in sales compared to 2021, the industry appears to have had a "breath of new air."
The SNI, which carried out a survey of its members, notes that a third of them had recovered to their 2019 levels. Furthermore, a union official informed Belga News Agency that their members' stocks had run out.
- Independents and SMEs oppose extending shop opening hours
- First weekend of Summer Sales registers 12% turnover increase
- Shopping across the border puts 15,000 Belgian jobs at risk
According to both unions, the weather has had a positive effect in the summer shopping period, as well as "price stability in the shoe and clothing industries."
Proceed with caution
Despite the increase in sales, both organisations have emphasised that it would not solve the difficulties facing the shopping sector.
According to the SNI, retailers still live in fear that customers will stay away from their stores due to record high levels of inflation and the current cost of living crisis.
Nonetheless, according to a survey conducted by Mode Unit and Unizo, Flemish fashion stores sold just 1% less during the summer sales than before the Covid-19 pandemic, confirming that this upturn in sales is nationwide.