Traditionally held on the second Monday of the Schueberfouer (which this year has been scaled down massively), the annual Braderie sidewalk sales in Luxembourg City usually attract tens of thousands of bargain hunters. The sales have since been expanded to last the whole weekend, but this year expectations are mixed for a retail sector that has already suffered during the covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s a special sale because it's a special year,” city mayor Lydie Polfer (DP) said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The city retailers’ association, the UCVL, says it has received 210 applications for stands from stores in the capital for the 2020 event. Usually there are around 400 stands on the streets and shoppers enjoy a carnival atmosphere amidst all the hustle and bustle, but this year permits have been strictly limited to retailers--so there is no place for stands from charity organisations or political parties. “The number of visitors will be very difficult to estimate this year,” said UCVL director Anne Darin-Jaulin.
Three dedicated food villages will be installed on Place Guillaume II, rue Jean Origer and in the vicinity of the train station. Vendors and visitors will have to wear masks. “The success of this year’s event obviously depends on meeting health standards, and everyone is expected to contribute,” said Polfer. “We have to find a balance between tradition and compliance with health regulations.”
Rue Origer, avenue de la Liberté and the Place de la Gare will be closed to traffic for the duration of the event. But buses will operate along the avenue de la Gare as the new wider pavements there will allow shops to set up stands without disrupting traffic.
The sales actually open on Saturday 29 August and will also be open on Sunday 30 August. But the main event is on the Monday, when stands can open and 9am and will shut up shop at 7pm.