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Rush on supermarkets is over

The situation in Belgian supermarkets is returning to normal after many people started stocking up.  In some stores sales were up threefold.

Distribution industry body Comeos reports a first surge in sales on Thursday 12 March when hoarding customers led to a sales increase of 275%.  After the government announced the closure of bars and restaurants on Thursday night more went over the counter on Friday too.

A new surge in sales followed on Tuesday 17 March the day the national security council announced fresh measures: sales were up 200% on the usual volume.  The rest of last week remained busy too.

Sales volumes started to return to normal by last Saturday.  Comeos says people are observing restrictions and are keeping the 1.5 metre distance required.  Customers are paying electronically, are shopping alone and less frequently. Customers are spending more than usual during their visit to the supermarket.

A spokesman for budget store Lidl confirmed the trend: “The weekend was quieter and Monday was just like a routine Monday.  There’s far less hoarding.”

“Due to the measures the number of clients per store is limited.  We are able to restock the shelves.  People can shop in peace.”

Fellow budget store Aldi reported a similar normalisation, while Colruyt tweeted: “The storm has abated.”