Clothes shops are considered non-essential stores. As a result shoppers have to make an appointment if they wish to shop there. Usually this isn’t a problem and often you can make one on the spot, but the sector is reeling from a collapse in turnover. The Mode Unie is now asking the governments to lift the restriction designed to stem the spread of Covid or to cough up extra support for store owners.
On average, compared with an ordinary year, turnover fell 58.4% in fashion stores last week. Fashion retailers were already experiencing lower sales as a result of the general situation, the feeling there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, no hospitality and people limiting social contacts. The retailers don’t believe they will be able to make good disappointing sales this season.
The governments may have tried to limit the damage to non-essential stores as much as possible Mode Unie’s Isolde Delanghe is not impressed: “Consumers feel they can’t shop in a relaxed way and are worried having an appointment will mean they have to make a purchase.”
23% of stores have reduced hours of trade. 5% closed altogether because shopping by appointment isn’t profit-making.
Mode Unie wants the requirement to make an appointment axed and points to the words of virologists and politicians, who initially said infections due to shopping were negligible.
“The financial reserves of fashion retailers are exhausted after two lockdown. We are now heading for a third disastrous season” says Mode Unie.