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Shops’ turnover down 35% during the first month since reopening

The trade association that represents Belgium’s independent retailers NSZ says that in the month since shops selling non-essential goods were allowed to reopen takings have remained 35% down on what they were before the lockdown started in mid-March. NSZ adds that “Moreover 60% of independent retailers don’t have enough financial reserves to carry on for a two more months without additional measures being taken”. 

NSZ calls for the “sector in difficulty” measures, under which for example the hospitality industry falls, to be extended to cover non-food shops. “This offer the advantage of allowing shops to be able to benefit from bridging measures if they suffer a fall in turnover of more than 10% compared with last year”.

If no extra measures are taken NSZ fears that it could spell the end for around 20% of shops. Not least due to the high number of bankruptcies already suffered by businesses in the retail industry.