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Supermarket shoppers can eye non-food items, but must order online
The pick-up desk at the Carrefour in Korbeek-Lo perfectly illustrates the somewhat surreal situation in which shoppers find themselves if they want to buy non-food items. While customers cannot buy tights, toys or a toaster in the supermarket itself, they can order it all online and pick it all up inside.
Because “non-essential” shops had to close until 13 December in the fight against the coronavirus, food shops that sell the same items are not allowed to sell them. This is meant to prevent unfair competition.
Parents, however, would not call toys and games non-essential as the Sinterklaas holiday barrels down upon them. The gift-giving holiday for kids falls a full weeks before shops are allowed to open. So while they are not allowed to head down those blocked off aisles in the supermarket, they are allowed to go home, order the same gifts online and head back to the market to pick them up.
Products that supermarkets and other food shops are not allowed to sell include large appliances, indoor and outdoor furniture, electronics, portable heaters, clothing, toys, jewellery, leatherware, sports gear and … wait for it … Christmas decorations.
Photo ©Eric Lalmand