Flemish shopkeepers hope for a mass of shoppers this weekend, now that the mouth mask obligation for both customers and staff has disappeared. It is also the Weekend of the Customer and Antwerp will be combined with the Fashion Weekend and Sunday shopping. ‘The self-employed can once again use their ‘secret weapon’: their smile,’ says NSZ.
NSZ has been arguing for some time for the abolition of the mouth mask obligation in commercial matters. ‘At a certain point it was no longer defensible, everything was not allowed in the’, says Volckeryck. ‘We also always questioned whether it was necessary to impose such strict measures. We got the actual two answers there: that people didn’t prevent that something was going on, that real research was actually done into it.’
The number of shoppers has been improving lately, says Volckeryck. ‘Especially from the beginning of September, people have started to buy again,’ he says. ‘You were also allowed to come to the store with more people and people have a lot of confidence in the vaccine they received. Many foreigners are also starting to return to our cities.’
In the meantime, many businesses have taken the initiative to set up an online store. In Antwerp, among others, you also received a subsidy of up to 500 euros. ‘We now see that the web store is also used to subsequently discover the retail property,’ says Volckeryck.