In December 2020, the start date of the winter sales was delayed by two days, at the very last minute, in order to avoid the rush of customers into stores in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
In the same context, on 7 January 2021, the Chamber agreed to review a legislative proposal extending the winter 2021 sales by two weeks, as a matter of urgency. Nevertheless, the text was only adopted on 21 January 2021 because the Economy Committee of the Chamber insisted on having the written opinions of various consumers’ and retailers’ associations.
This new modification of the sales period – which is normally strictly limited to a month – has a double objective : (i) to support retailers that have a significant amount of stock to sell and (ii) allow a longer frame for the customers’ visits to avoid creating crowds as much as possible.
The Chamber is conscious that this measure is a drop in the ocean, but welcomed it unanimously, as being positive for many retailers and for the management of the pandemic.
Furthermore, on the occasion of the discussion regarding the extension of winter 2021 sales, a member of the Parliament brought up the necessity of reconsidering the regulation of the waiting period before sales that now only exists in Belgium and which is the subject of a law proposal still pending at the Chamber. So stay tuned, there might be further modifications regarding commercial practices soon.