The waiting period, or presale period, started on Saturday the 3rd of December. It will continue until the 2nd of January. The 2nd of January is the day before the start of the 2017 winter sales, which will be held from the 3rd of January to the 31st.
During this waiting period, the clothing, leatherwork and shoe sectors are not allowed to reduce prices or give out coupons. This ban aims to guarantee the price of sale items really are lower and make sure all these sectors start the sales together, on the planned date.
There is one exception: car-boot sales, which can offer reductions despite the waiting period. But these have to be organized by or with help from local business groups. They are allowed a maximum of four days per waiting period.
The Employment, Economy and Consumer Minister, Kris Peeters, wants to get rid of waiting periods, which go against European rules. No date has been put forward yet. The Minister also pointed out that the waiting period is often avoided, for example via car-boot sales or coupled sales, which are allowed during this period.