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Summer sales: Best results for shops since the pandemic
As the summer sales come to their end, traders’ unions said they were “satisfied” with the month-long sales period, reports Le Soir.
The union of the middle classes (UCM) reported an increase in sales, referring to the "best period since 2019".
It added: “The remaining stocks of the summer collection are almost sold out, which had not happened since the start of the pandemic. However, it should be noted that traders had of course reduced their orders.”
The union estimated an increase in sales of nearly 30% compared to last year, saying it was a "breath of oxygen" for a sector whose "situation nevertheless remains precarious".
The neutral union for the self-employed (SNI), which conducted a sounding of its members, noted that a third of them reported sales returning to the level of 2019, before the health crisis. “The first weekend had been very good and the following weeks quite positive. Therefore, stocks are now low.”
Good weather encouraged shoppers
Both organisations thought the weather played a favourable role during the sales. “Price stability in the footwear and clothing sectors” also had a positive impact, according to the UCM.
But they also cautioned that July’s brisk trade did not erase difficulties for the sector. “Nothing indicates that inflation will slow down, the pressure on purchasing power will continue to be strong. Traders therefore are afraid that customers will stay at home and save, a trend that is already being observed, ”underlined the SNI.
In Flanders, independent fashion retailers sold only 1% less on average during the summer sales compared to the same period in 2019, pointed out Mode Unie, the federation of independent fashion retailers and the Flemish employers' organisation Unizo following a joint investigation.