Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Corner shop?

This week's topic is shopping cause I mean 99% of you will admit that shopping is/can be fun.

I’m pretty sure that you could write quite a bit about shopping in Belgium, depending on from which angle you were looking at it.  So I’ll just tell you about the things that I found strange/frustrating about shopping in Belgium. Mind, some of these things no longer annoy me, I’ve gotten used to them.

Okay, shops are open between 10:00 and 7:00 Monday – Thursday, and if you are lucky, 8:00 on a Friday. Or some of the bigger supermarkets will be open till 9:00 on a Friday.

Very few shops are open on a Sunday. For example, we have a small supermarket which is open on a Sunday, on account of being closed on a Monday.  And while this is very convenient they make up for it by being quite a bit more expensive.

Over the course of the last year or saw a chain of delis have opened across Belgium and they are open 7 days a week till 10 at night. But again, you pay top ‘dollar’ for it.

Smaller shops are also closed on Mondays, especially shops like hairdressers or the bakeries.

And you might not believe it but there are a grand total of 8 shopping centres in Belgium – I kid you not. So if you come from a country where shopping malls are king you might be in for a bit of a shock.

The pharmacies are tiny! And most products must be asked for, even pain killers! Back in South Africa pharmacies are like little supermarkets so it was quite a shock for me when we first moved over here.

Every town / village has at least 2 bakeries. They will be open on Sunday mornings often with  a queue snaking out the door.


  1. wow. us NJ people would have a hard time adjusting to those early closing hours!!! we have diners that are open 24/7!!

  2. Ho does anyone who works a full-time job get their shopping done? You'd have to use your lunch break to get groceries! There are a lot of places here that are closed on Sundays, too, but there are still enough other places still open that it's not so inconvenient. I'm glad you've gotten used to that schedule though. I'm sure if you live anywhere long enough that you learn to adapt!

  3. wow! that would be so difficult with my schedule. How do you manage with that?

  4. Interesting! Love learning about where you live!

  5. I'd say we have a lot of similarities in the shops/stores around here, with hours of operation etc. - but then again, I live in a pretty small town. I guess the bigger cities have more 24/7 type places and bigger shopping centres! A lot of the little restaurants around here close early, and are often closed on Mondays, sometimes Tuesdays too. I can totally relate to that!

  6. I think it would be hard adjusting to in the beginning but if you think about the big picture it's nice that the shop owner get that time with their families. So many here in the States have to sacrifice that. Just my two cents.

  7. I agree with Nicolette. I think everyone needs time off, and it forces everyone to manage their time a bit better!

    Interesting post. Are the bakeries expensive? They are here in the US.

  8. Wow! Supermarkets here are almost all 24 hours and if they do close, it's just the early morning hours. Do you find that you shop a few times during the week and just get what you need for a few days at a time? Americans are so crazy with buying bulk and stocking up. We go grocery shopping once every 7-10 days, but spend $300! And some weeks the produce and bread expires before we eat it. I wish we had corner shops to just pick up what we need for dinner on the way home. NYC is a lot like that, mostly because people don't have space in their apartments for all the food.