One in four shops in fashion capital Antwerp on the verge of going bust
Share article:
Share article:

One in four shops in fashion capital Antwerp on the verge of going bust

© Keegan Henman for Unsplash

One clothes shop in four in Antwerp is in danger of going bankrupt, according to figures from the business consultancy Graydon, reports Gazet Van Antwerpen.

Needless to say, the Covid-19 crisis has made the situation worse. Before the pandemic, Graydon said, about 9% of shoe shops were flirting with failure. That figure is now 45%.

For clothes shops, in a city renowned for its fashion since the 1980s, the figure has gone up from 11% pre-pandemic to 42% now.

The shops in question have, like the rest of the retail trade, received subsidies from the government, for example when non-essential shops were forced to close in the first lockdown and the one about to come to an end.

But that has not helped much. At the moment such shops can receive customers by appointment, but only one at a time. But it’s common knowledge that customers – let’s say female customers – for clothes and shoes like to shop in pairs at least. If that’s not possible, people will postpone their purchases until it is.

That was the result, too, during the spring sales, when restrictions were in place, and when retail businesses suffered disappointing results.

But government support only helped prevent bigger losses,” said Eric Van den Broele, Graydon’s research and development director. “Without the government support, 73% of shoe stores and 72% of clothing stores would now be in financial trouble.”

Related News


Graydon reckons one in four clothing and shoe retailers are now close to the brink, judging only by those who were financially healthy at the start of the pandemic.

Their financial reserves are exhausted,” said Van den Broele. “So extra money is immediately needed to save those stores. But that cannot be taken for granted. Many entrepreneurs have already invested a lot of private money in their company during this crisis and are now eating through their carefully saved pension fund.”

For ModeUnie, which represents the retail sector, the news from Graydon comes as no surprise.

These are impressive figures, but unfortunately that is reality,” said director Isolde Delanghe. “We fear that at least 20% of fashion stores will actually go bankrupt, and it could be even more. And many stores that can still go ahead are in danger of having to let go of staff,” she said.

Today, 47% of the staff in the fashion sector are still on temporary unemployment. It will be difficult for many entrepreneurs to recruit after the crisis because the money has simply run out.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...