Coronavirus leads to ‘disappointing’ summer sales for Belgian shops
Sunday, 16 August 2020
The first fortnight of the summer sales was disappointing, among other things because of the coronavirus measures, according to the Belgian federation for shops and services Comeos.
The rules requiring people to shop alone and not stay in a store for more than half an hour, said Comeos on Sunday, which added that it would like to see this measure, which was reintroduced at the end of July, dropped again.
According to a Comeos survey of members in the clothing and “health & beauty” sector, shopkeepers note a drop in sales of about 40% compared to the first summer sales in 2019.
The number of customers fell sharply, but they bought slightly more per customer (+5%) than last year, on average.
“Having to shop individually plays a big role in the decline in sales and customer numbers. Couples cannot enter together, even if the store is empty. Many then abandon the idea,” Comeos said.
The rule also leads to misunderstanding and sometimes irritation among customers, as three-quarters of shopkeepers say they have already had to deal with aggression because of it, according to Comeos. A workshop on this topic will be organised with the unions for the members of the federation.
The heat and the exceptional shift of the sales towards August were also factors that played to the detriment of Belgian traders, according to Comeos.