Shopping in Ghent
You will soon find the shops you need for everyday purchases such as groceries, household articles, stationery, newspapers etc. in your neighbourhood. The big supermarkets are often cheaper but not always centrally located. You may need a car for major purchases or big shopping expeditions.
In many towns shops have gradually established themselves offering special groceries and ingredients from other cultures and countries. Also in Ghent:
- African: Afrikoko (Brugsepoortstraat), Foreign Shop (Dampoortstraat)
- Asian & Indian: Thai Center (Koning Albertlaan), Oriental Shop Legri (Brusselsesteenweg), Suan Thai Market (Holstraat), Himalaya Exoctic Food (Brusselsepoortstraat)
- Moroccan: Berkane Elomari (Oudburg)
- South-American: Afrikoko (Brugsepoortstraat)
- Italian: Da Luigi (Lammerstraat), Casa del Cappriccio (Sint-Jacobsnieuwstraat)
- Russian and Eastern European: Max Markt (Frans Van Ryhovelaan)
- Turkish: One Euro Shop and Toptanci (Sleepstraat), Ramazan Nalli (Ledebergplein)
- Fair Trade: Oxfam
- Spices: Vits-Staelens (Sint-Jacobs)
- Vegetarian and vegan: Ayuno (Korte Meer), Origin'o (Kortrijksesteenweg), Pimpernel (Charles De Kerckhovelaan), Panda (Oudburg)
- Ghent specialities
Shops are usually open between 10am and 18pm, Monday to Saturday. Local grocers and especially the baker's may be open on Sundays and closed on a weekday instead. Some (smaller) stores close for lunch. If you are in urgent need of something when shops have already closed, you may find what you need in one of the several night shops.
Apart from the weekly market days, the specialised markets are certainly worth a visit: the flea market, the flower market, the art market, the vegetable market, the bird market, the Christmas market, etc.
You can buy second-hand goods at very reasonable prices at your local Kringloop-winkel.
These Kringwinkels sell original, cheap and solid second-hand stuff at very keen prices. Furniture, cooking utensils, decoration materials, clothing, bicycles, ... Every day, Kringwinkels collect new goods which guarantees a constantly changing offer. Moreover, the goods are conveniently exposed and arranged according to product group.
Clothing, electronics etc.
There is a wide range of big and small shops and the city centre is a pedestrian area. Since prices and quality vary considerably from one shop to another, it is advisable to compare carefully.
Belgians do a lot of window shopping: looking at what is on offer without necessarily intending to buy. It is also quite normal to go into a shop just to find out what is for sale there. If you do not want to buy something and a shop assistant asks is you need help, the appropriate response is to say that you are just looking.
Bargains can be found at summer and winter sales (July and January), offering goods from the outgoing season at reduced prices. Otherwise, haggling (negotiating a lower price) is restricted to expensive or one-of-a-kind items (automobiles, jewellery, art, real estate, trade sales of businesses) and informal sales settings such as flea markets and garage sales.
You can exchange most purchases - with the exception of special offers - within 14 days if the goods have not been used and if you can produce the receipt.
With major purchases, such as electrical appliances, you can return faulty goods up to several months after the date of purchase. Nowadays, the guarantee is often valid for 2 years. The terms of the guarantee are specified on a guarantee card supplied with the article. There are firms who insist you bring the original packaging when goods are returned to the shop or exchanged.
It is advisable to enquire prior to making a purchase about conditions of sale and exchange terms.
If you are looking for a particular shop, you can consult the Yellow Pages.