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Belgians treating themselves after annus horribilis

It’s Christmas in your bubble, possibly with an extra guest, maybe two if you are single.  Still most Belgians are making the best of things and seem to be treating themselves after our joint annus horribilis.

Caterers and restaurants in Leuven supplying take-aways were doing brisk business this morning after many people placed special orders for Christmas and Christmas Eve.  Queues were long outside many businesses, but people have gotten used to being patient and keeping things safe, also at Christmas.

 

Yesterday was THE busy day for Belgian supermarkets.  1.5 million customers visited supermarket chain Delhaize. Fortunately, by Christmas Eve it was far less crowded.

 

Delhaize’s Roel Dekelver: “Yesterday was our busiest day ever.  We had anticipated crowds, but not that it would be that busy”.

 

Luxury goods are briskly changing hands in Belgian supermarkets: fine, expensive wines and top-notch champagnes, lobster and oysters. The supermarkets have taken account of the smaller gatherings and are offering smaller portions:

 

Roel Dekelver: “We pride ourselves on our giant turkeys.  This year more modest birds, two to three kilos are available.  Still good for gatherings of five to six people.

 

December is traditionally a good months for sales at Belgian supermarkets.  This year the sky is the limit after hospitality closed, but Roel Dekelver has his feet firmly on the ground:

 

“Sales are up, but so are our costs” he told VRT.

 

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