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Shops report disappointing January sales results
Shopkeepers in Belgium have reported disappointing results from the January sales - due to a mild winter and the success of other promotions such as Black Friday.
The sales finish on Friday, and many fashion stores are offering 70% discounts to clear stock before the summer collection arrives.
According to retail union SNI, which surveyed more than 500 independent clothing and shoe stores, revenue during the sales is down 6% compared to the same period last year.
The winter sales are one of only two periods in the year when shops are legally allowed to sell products at a loss to clear stock.
With temperatures in January staying relatively mild, fewer consumers have been looking for warm winter-wear in the sales.
SNI said pre-Christmas promotions - including Black Friday and Singles Day - meant the January sales had less impact.
"Shops' margins are already significantly reduced," said the union. "They hardly earn anything per item of clothing sold."