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Winter sales start on 3 January amid difficult economic climate for retailers

12:58 30/12/2023

Belgium’s 2024 winter sales kick off on 3 January and continue until 31 January, reports RTBF. Although the busy retail season is welcomed by traders, it follows a gloomy business period, says the Union of Middle Classes (UMC).

The leading French-speaking employers’ organisation questioned around 450 Walloon and Brussels traders. Almost one in two retailers (46.7%) hold abnormally high stocks for this period with 42% also reporting that they had to resort to other methods of selling off stock during December.

Some 35% of retailers also anticipate lower sales, compared to 48.7% last year. However, businesses will offer discounts from 30% to boost sales.

More than half of them say that sales fell during the last quarter and only 20.8% view the future with confidence.

They are particularly concerned about the economic context, the increase in the cost of living that is eroding purchasing power and the evolution of consumer behaviour such as online shopping.

“Being a trader in 2024 will not be easy,” warns the UCM. “Caught between customer purchasing behaviour on the one hand and fluctuating charges on the other, retailers have a hard time.”

To support them, the organisation is asking for long-term tax incentives that are adapted to the new needs of retailers and customer demands.


Written by The Bulletin