Nearly one in two entrepreneurs in Belgium think their business is in danger as the summer sales period comes to an end.
Due to coronavirus measures, the sales period, typically in July, was pushed back to August and started with restrictive measures including the rule to shop alone and for a maximum of 30 minutes. The relaxation of these rules towards the end of the period was not enough to repair the damage.
Barely a quarter of shop keepers are satisfied with the sales period that is coming to an end, according to Union des Classes Moyennes (UCM, a union for the self-employed). Overall sales are down by more than 20% compared to last year.
According to UCM, one in four business people say they are satisfied with their sales. Of these businesses, 16.5% reported that sales were slightly higher than last year, and 9% counted equivalent sales.
For the majority of shops, the sales have not compensated for the losses occurred during the coronavirus lockdown.
57.3% of them reported sales more than 20% lower than last year. Out of the total number of retailers surveyed, nearly one in five estimated the drop to be more than 40%.
“The festive season will be decisive for some,” the UCM warned. “If there is no return to normal shopping, it will be the last straw.”