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Belgian sales season starts with a bang

Published on 03/01/2005

3 January 2005

BRUSSELS – Belgian retailers say this year’s January sales season promises to be particularly lucrative.

Retailers’ federation Fedis said on Monday that that shopowners had seen a thirty percent increase in takings at the beginning of this year’s sales season compared to the same period in 2004.

“This morning there were crowds everywhere. Shopping centre car parks across the country were full at nine o’clock this morning,” said Fedis spokesman Baudouin Velge.

Meanwhile, Belgium’s consumer affairs minister Sabine Laruelle has caused uproar among retailers by suggesting the opening date of the January sales should be altered in future.

Laruelle told La Derniere Heure newspaper that she would like to see the first Saturday in January fixed as the opening date for the winter sales season.

At present the January sales start on 3 January or on the day before if the third falls on a Sunday.

Pierre Colin of Belgian small business confederation the Union des classes moyennes (UCM) said Laruelle would just cause confusion for consumers if she insisted on changing the current system.

“We have no evidence that there is a need to change the dates of the sales system,” he said.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news