A week(end) after it was legally possible, the Exotische Markt on Saturday and Vogelenmarkt on Sunday will return under strict circumstances to the Theaterplein in Antwerp. Vendors will be granted a spot by lottery.
The National Security Council of Belgium decided public markets could reopen on 18 May. Obviously with health and hygiene restrictions and maximum fifty vendors.
Both Exotische Markt (Exotic Market) and Vogelenmarkt (Birds’ Market) are big markets, oriented towards fun and experience rather than grocery shopping.
The Exotische Markt usually comprises over 100 vendors, the Vogelenmarkt 200. The Theaterplein (Theater Square), the Blauwtorenplaats (Blue Tower Square) and Graanmarkt (Cereal Market) are together a large area.
So a lottery system will allocate the right to be there. Only regular vendors with a subscription can apply.
In the Gazet van Antwerpen newspaper vendors have mixed feelings. Some feel the lottery system is fair. Others want a rotation system.
A rotation system gives predictability and vendors can communicate with their customers when they’ll be there. But the ones who are unlucky to have the last weekend of the month will see customers with less spending budget. So then a lottery system seems fair(er).
The big question is: will customers actually visit and buy?