Since Monday 11 May, retail has reopened in Belgium. I went to Antwerp‘s Meir, Shopping Stadsfeestzaal and De Wilde Zee.
First things first. Around 9AM I went to Delhaize, a supermarket in the basement of the Stadsfeestzaal. It was crowded. Not for the Delhaize, but people were already queuing for Kruidvat and Action, both discount stores. They only open at 10AM.
I don’t have much much footage of that little excursion. It didn’t feel right. People were nervous, spying on each other. Delhaize was uncrowded as usual at that time of day.
At 10.30AM I left home to have a proper look. I couldn’t say the Meir was crowded, but queuing with social of physical distancing takes up quite a lot of space, so it seems more crowded. Some people really can’t follow the very obvious arrows on the ground.
People queued mostly for the Stadsfeestzaal, for cosmetic shops, for mobile phone centers and to a lesser extend for clothing and shoe shops.
De Wilde Zee
De Wilde Zee is a small shopping area with more quirky, upmarket and personal shops. It was very quiet there.
I entered one shop, the official Apple reseller Switch as I’m looking to buy a new iPhone. There was no customers inside so I went in.
It was obvious the attendants are nervous. I’m probably blasé as I continued working and come into contact with people through work.
I can’t say it was a pleasant experience. I need a new pair of jeans but I’l have really to think when to go.