Economy & Politics

Sales destined to “boost the recovery”

While France and Belgium have opted for a postponement of purchases at a reduced price in mid-July or in August, the Grand Duchy begins its commercial operation on Friday. Customers are eagerly awaited until July 25.

While France and Belgium have opted for a postponement of purchases at a reduced price in mid-July or in August, the Grand Duchy begins its commercial operation on Friday. Customers are eagerly awaited until July 25.

(DH and ER) – The revival is now. This Friday, Luxembourg shops are on the warpath for the opening of sales. While the French and Belgian neighbors will not take the bandwagon until July 15 at the earliest, the sector intends to take advantage of a favorable calendar to forget the confinement and its two months of forced closure which weighed on the treasuries.

And if some had come to the Luxembourg Confederation of Commerce (CLC) to postpone the operation for three weeks – in particular to sell the goods at a higher price for longer – others are satisfied with this decision to bring in cash and thus be able to prepare for the winter season., Lokales, Geschäfte schaffen es nicht mehr nach der Krise Corona weiter bestehen zu bleiben, Bahnhofviertel, station district, bankruptcy, Geschäfte am Rande der Firmenpleite, Gebäude durchgehend zur train station avenue de la liberté Foto: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort

Already caught in the grip of endless construction sites, rents deemed prohibitive and the establishment of new shopping centers on the outskirts, businesses in the Gare area and in Ville-Haute appear on the verge of suffocation more to the health crisis.

But is maintaining sales on June 26th really a great opportunity, just six weeks after the stores reopen? The CLC wants to be convinced of this because “sanitary measures make it possible to shop in complete safety”, comments Claude Bizjak, the deputy director.

Same story on the side of the Commercial Union of the City of Luxembourg (UCVL) where Anne Darin, its president, ensures that the coming weeks “will allow traders to have more crowds to boost the gradual recovery post -covid-19 “. “Everything is ready,” says Eric Lai, who runs a boutique on rue de l’Alzette, in Esch. “Customers are reassured and tell us so. We were eagerly awaiting the sales and we also hope to attract cross-border workers. ”

Angucken ist erlaubt, anprobieren nicht überall.

The municipal council of the City of Luxembourg has decided to erase some slates to help traders to raise their heads after the heavy losses recorded following the health crisis. On the other hand, the principle of vouchers is adopted.

Because it is indeed this clientele that is expected with a firm footing to compensate for the consequences of partial unemployment, leave for family reasons and telework. So many measures introduced for health reasons that have deprived the capital of some 50,000 people since the start of the pandemic. “We hope that people who telecommute will take the opportunity to come to town on weekends because we have Sunday openings,” recalls Anne Darin. This is how four Sunday openings are scheduled, on June 28 and July 5, 12 and 19. And to attract the barge, the City of Luxembourg will also ensure that Stade and Schuman car parks are free on the same dates.

Traders in the Grand Duchy therefore hope to take advantage of a favorable calendar, since France will only allow sales between July 15 and August 11 and Belgium between August 1 and 31. This year, therefore, Lorraine will not benefit from the special regime allowing it to align with the Grand Duchy and will have to deal with a gap of almost three weeks on its neighbor.

Luxtimes, First weeks shops open, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Foto: Chris Karaba / Luxemburger

One week after the reopening of shops, customers are still scarce. On the shelves, the pleasure of shopping seems to have given way to efficient shopping.

“Between large brands, which have more latitude, and small shops, which need cash and space for the next collection, opinions were very divided,” said Pascal Schons, director of the Federation of merchants of Metz. “In addition, the sales in Luxembourg have a greater impact on stores in Thionville,” he says.

Indeed on the side of Thionville, Carol Thil, the president of the association of traders (Apecet) nods. But the association has already organized resistance. “We are living in a special year and everyone is making their proposals and trying to sell their stocks as best they can.” Since the reopening, customer files have served as a reference for private sales and stalls have been placed outside the shops “to create small events”. In addition, Apecet has launched a special site intended to stimulate purchases, while the gift voucher operation – which gives the right to a 10% reduction in all shops in Thionville – has “got off to a good start”.

The entry into force of the deconfinement measures did indeed allow residents of the French department to leave their homes, masked, but did not encourage them to rush into the reopened stores again. And this, while all the shopping centers are accessible.

If the optimism remains on the side of France, a hint of resignation is emerging on the Belgian side. “We have the feeling that this situation is not fair”, underlines Catherine Arnould, president of the Commercial and industrial association of Arlon (CFIA), in reference to the shift of almost six weeks compared to the grand-ducal dates . “Especially since in Arlon, half of the population is employed in the Grand Duchy, even if many people are currently teleworking”, she adds, regretting “the lack of harmonization of VAT rates” on either side of the border.

2020 will therefore remain an extraordinary year for traders, even if everyone agrees on one point. Sales are no longer a good time eagerly awaited by consumers. The latter awaiting “promotions throughout the year.”

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