Shopowners are feeling rather pessimistic about the upcoming winter sales, according to the union for the self-employed, SNI.
Faced with continued restrictions linked to the health crisis and the growth of online sales, the sentiment among shop owners on the eve of the sales was gloomy, and the union is already calling for the sales to be extended, Belga news agency reports.
“The sales is a moment they expect to rebuild cash flows necessary to continue,” the union said in a statement, pointing out that retailers have already been suffering from low turnover for almost two years.
The latest decision by the Consultative Committee to tighten the rules to shopping and limit the number of customers in a store has created a psychological barrier, says the union, and barely one in four shop owners expects a better turnover than last year’s January sales.
Shopping can currently be done with a maximum of two people (with the exception of minors from the same household). “And yet, it has already been proven by studies that shops are not the drivers of infection,” SNI argues.
According to SNI, e-commerce is also a major factor damaging the local economy. “More than ever, the consumer is going to the internet for their purchases,” which makes the planning of stocks and logistics very important.
“Half of the shops still have about 50% of their products on the shelves,” the SNI points out.
As teleworking is becoming more and more part of everyday life, fewer consumers now travel to shopping centres. “This explains why, for about half of the retailers, the main competitor is online.”