In an open letter, Mode Unie is asking the federal government to allow multi-person shopping again.
Mode Unie “unites, informs and defends the interests of independent fashion entrepreneurs,” it explains on its website.
"Shopping is safe. Make individual shopping more flexible, or watch our flourishing Belgian model landscape slowly bleed to death. The choice is yours," writes director Isolde Delanghe.
Since 29 July, people have to shop alone, with the exception of minors who go shopping with a family member or people who need guidance. In addition, a visit to a shop may last a maximum of thirty minutes.
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In the three months before that, however, the fashion stores proved that shopping is safe, said Delanghe. "At the reopening on 11 May, strict safety measures were taken in fashion stores. To date, no complaints have been received about a violation of the safety measures taken.
According to Mode Unie, the current rules lack a balance between economic viability and the protection of public health. "The winter collection is being delivered, the invoices have to be paid, the pieces have to be stored. Sales have come to a standstill because consumers are afraid to go shopping,” Mode Unie said.
Moreover, the sector organisation doesn't understand why people are allowed to go to the restaurant with their so-called social bubble, but have to shop on their own.
"Our demand for flexibility does not cost the taxpayer a penny and keeps hundreds of fashion retailers out of bankruptcy and as many employees at work,” the organisation asserted.
The Brussels Times