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After gloomy retail season, summer sales kick off from 1 to 31 July

Summer sales in Belgium 1 to 31 July
13:07 01/07/2024

Following months of slow business due to almost constant rain, many fashion retailers are tipped to slash prices to clear stocks during Belgium’s summer sales from 1 to 31 July.

While larger brands will initially offer 30% promotions, many smaller independent stores are likely to cut prices by half from the outset.

This is because stocks are running higher than previous years, especially for summer clothes, reports RTBF.

Belgian statistical office Statbel says figures show that clothing stores have had their worst spring/summer season in 13 years, and the dip in sales in the clothing sector is estimated at 20% lower than in 2023.

The first week of the sales will see significant reductions of around 50% by some 21% of independent businesses consulted by the Neutral Union for Independents (SNI).

“For large brands, we should not expect spectacular discounts today,” says Christophe Wambersie, who points that they will start with the usual discount of 30%.  

But future price cuts are dependent on the sunshine, he says. “If the good weather of the last few days continues, the discounts will remain moderate, but if the rain returns, the discounts will soon be bigger.”

With cash required to buy autumn/winter collections, the need to liquidate stocks is pressing, confirms the Union of Middle Classes (UCM) as well as the SNI.

Together, they reveal that 90% of retailers are suffering from the impact of bad weather on sales. "46% of the clothing stores surveyed admit to still having between 40 to 60 % of stock, compared to 20 to 40% last year,” according to UCM spokesperson Isabelle Morgante.

“If the weather is nice and warm, it should be fine,” adds Wambersie, “Customers have remained cooped up at home for a long time and traders hope that they will want to go out and take advantage of the good deals. If it is bad, we will only have those vacationing in the sun buying seasonal clothes and it will become complicated to achieve a good turnover."

Written by The Bulletin