Winter sales are starting in Belgium on Monday, marking a change from the usual Saturday start date in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
A sales period would typically start on a Saturday in Belgium, but that was changed in an effort to avoid heavy crowds coming in and out of shops as coronavirus continues to infect more than 1,500 people on a daily basis on average.
Heavy price reductions can be expected based on a survey by the Neutral Syndicate for the Self-Employed (SNI), in which three in four respondents indicated they were planning on offering discounts of at least 30%.
The goal of these heavy reductions would be to liquidate remaining stocks as much as possible to make room for new collections, but also to help cash flow after what’s been a difficult year for businesses due to the pandemic.
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While Belgium enters its winter sales period, so-called non-essential businesses have closed in some of Belgium’s neighbouring countries, with Germany, the Netherlands and France postponing their winter sales. “The next few days will tell” whether that will influence consumer behaviour and attract more customers, according to the Union of the Middle Classes (UCM).
In the meantime, Belgium's Crisis Centre has reminded people going shopping to do so safely, calling on them to go alone, respect social distancing, disinfect their hands and only touch products they need, wear a mask, pay contactless as much as possible and not to shop longer than necessary.
Vandaag is het de eerste dag van de solden. Zak jij af naar de winkelstraten om koopjes te doen? Doe het veilig. Hou voldoende afstand & draag een mondmasker. Winkel alleen. pic.twitter.com/U2B7dQIJ8q— CrisisCenter Belgium (@CrisiscenterBE) January 4, 2021
The Brussels Times