Belgium bans sale of Christmas decorations…

When the list of essential stores was published this weekend, there was good news for florists, or at least that was what most people thought.  Inclusion on the list means that florists can stay open and are not forced to close for 6 weeks as is the case for all non-essential stores. However, the florists are banned from selling non-essential items in their shops and these include Christmas decorations.

Many florists experience this decision as a blow because at this time of year selling Christmas decorations forms a significant part of their turnover. 

Flower studio Lotus in Zoutleeuw (Flemish Brabant) estimates that the decision will cost them around 50,000 euros in lost takings.

“We’re not allowed to sell half our stuff” says florist Dirk, who runs the operation together with Hans and fears shoppers will pop across the border en masse and buy floral Christmas decorations in the Netherlands instead.

“At this time of year floral Christmas decorations make up around three-quarters of our turnover.”

“It’s started me thinking: are they keeping us open just so they don’t have to pay a closure grant? People will head for the Netherlands for their Christmas shop.  In protest we posted an Easter decoration on our Facebook page explaining what’s up.  People think it’s funny, but really it’s not.”

The flower studio intends to try and sell some floral Christmas decorations online, via Facebook, as online sales are permitted, but they don’t really have a web shop.   

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