Belgium reopens stores: long queues at Ikea

'Social distancing'-stickers op de grond in de Stadsfeestzaal in Antwerpen
Photos: RetailDetail

As Belgian stores were allowed to reopen today, the image is rather mixed: some chains (like Ikea) saw hours-long queues, others remained almost completely empty.


Quiet streets

Most retailers had not expected large crowds on this first day of the Grand Reopening, and most were right indeed. However, large queues formed at a small number of chains: the Ikea store in Brussels had 600?people standing in the waiting line, while sports chain Decathlon also faced a long queue in several of its stores. At Action, too, people waited for over an hour to get in.


In most shopping streets, turnout was rather limited: Antwerp's main shopping street Meir had queues forming at Kruidvat and Hema, but otherwise everything remained calm. A noticeable exception was the shopping centre Stadsfeestzaal, where long lines formed at the entrance. Supermarket Delhaize, Action and Kruidvat attracted most of the shoppers in the shopping centre Stadsfeestzaal (which includes RetailDetail's new headquarters).


People in Brussels grouped outside of Action, Inno and Primark, leaving many other stores quiet. Nearby Leuven reported almost no queues, except for just before the opening of vapeshops, Fnac and H&M. Shopping centres like Wijnegem painted the same picture, with a few busy shops for necessary purchases, but almost no fun shoppers. All in all, retailers were very happy with the way the were able to reopen, and almost no problems were reported.