The traders are “very disappointed” according to Comeos. Saturday morning there was very little people, in the afternoon a little more shoppers came to the shops.
According to Comeos, it is difficult to compare with last year because strict corona measures now apply. Nevertheless, there is a 50 percent decrease in turnover compared to the first sales day in the summer of 2019.
“It is evident that the strict reason for the corona measures is the main reason,” says Comeos Motteux of Comeos. “Furthermore, many people are on vacation and it was also a warm and sunny day.” Finally, the displacement of summer sales, which started a month later than usual, has also had a negative effect.
Shopping without a bubble
Comeos thinks we shouldn’t take our bubble to the store, but we can at the restaurant. “Some shopkeepers saw an adult come shopping with one child and later re-enter the store with another child. Sometimes the shops were empty and two adults who belong to the same bubble were not allowed to go to the store together ”, says Motteux. So Comeos would like to see the measures relaxed. “It would be good if we could shop with our bubble.”
According to the Neutral Syndicate for the Self-Employed (NSZ), “the first day of the delayed sales did not cause a major rush like many other years.” Figures from the business organization show that turnover is half as low as when sales started last year. In Antwerp it is even minus 70 percent. “I therefore call on all Antwerp residents to support the local traders as much as possible and to shop safely, because it is absolutely possible.”
Lots of stock
Due to the bad spring, 85 percent of the traders have even more in stock. “So there will be a lot of interesting bargains to be had. The discounts on the first day of sales are normally around 30 percent on average, but this year on the first day of sales that is on average 40 percent with a lot of pieces from minus 50 percent from the first day. ”
The NSZ also wants to relax the measures. “If we want to avoid one in five stores not reaching the end of the year, the rules need to be adjusted quickly,” says Christine Mattheeuws. “You can shop during the sales with your partner, with your children or with your friends. By analogy with the catering sector, let us allow the shopping to be done with the bubble. ”