Corona-proof shopping
4 min readSep 8, 2020

(or: Bringing back the joy of shopping in times of Covid-19)

Shopping during Covid-19? Somehow the activity that brings delight to many under normal circumstances seems to be rather daunting now, with the fear of catching the virus in public places and strict safety measures in place. However, believe it or not, you can enjoy your retail therapy and be safe at the same time. Wondering how that is possible? Instagram influencers will show you how!

@nathaliehantson at Les Papeteries de Genval

Wearing a mask, carrying a sanitizer, maintaining a social distance of 1.5 metres. The new normal should have become a matter of settled convention for those venturing outdoors by now, yet many Belgians are still struggling to come to terms with these practices. Especially since these preventive measures seem to not allow room for the many joys of summer: faraway vacations, late-night parties with friends, and regular brick-and-mortar shopping till you drop.

While huge parties may not be prescribed as the authorities are working hard to fight Covid-19, some shopping to relieve quarantine-fatigue and planning quaint events with family members is very much possible while maintaining all the proper measures. Efluenz, a dynamic Brussels-based marketing agency that specialises in influencer marketing, is showing how it is done along with popular Instagram influencers with dedicated followers.

In collaboration with Les Papeteries de Genval and Bellefleur Couillet, two prominent shopping centres in the region of Wallonia, the agency has been advocating safe shopping practices through their renewed campaigns since the end of the lockdown. The centres have established these partnerships with the aim of bringing back shoppers, albeit with the resolute intention of highlighting their safety as an absolute priority. This was possible thanks to the responsible influencers who worked with Efluenz to promote these shopping malls while following all the safety guidelines.

The new collaboration between these shopping malls and Efluenz emerged in 3 phases. The first phase occurred at the end on May, with the aim of appeasing the shoppers’ fears and inviting them back to the stores that were equipped with safety measures. At the beginning of July, the campaign was relaunched on the occasion of Father’s Day to show that the little joys of life can be celebrated even during difficult times. To announce the summer sales, the campaign resumed once again at the end of July with a contest to win 150 euros to spend at the shops.


A total of 13 influencers visited Les Papeteries de Genval throughout all the phases of the campaign, while 11 made their appearance at Bellefleur Couillet. They toured the boutiques, picked their favourite items and captured snaps of these moments, which they later shared on their social media channels. The difference: they wore masks, used sanitizers at the counters while entering the stores, and only visited the malls alone or with their close ones. Without expressing the need to follow these measures vocally, the influencers manage to strongly enforce them through their actions.

For instance, Amandine Rosselle, a micro-influencer with 12,000 followers, visited Bellefleur Couillet with a mission to select trendy must-haves for a chic barbeque party with loved ones. The IGTV video she created shows her navigating through the stores and picking out her items of choice while wearing her mask. The video has amassed 3544 views till now.


In another video, influencer-stylist Nathalie Hanston visits Les Papeteries de Genval’s modish boutiques, selecting outfits and accessories for a perfect picnic outdoors on a hot summer day. We see her picking out stylish clothes and jewelry in the video, which has since garnered 8957 views. Viewers can catch her wearing her mask and using hand sanitizer while she’s enjoying her time at the mall.

As we struggle to get back to our lives while embracing the new norms that ensure our welfare, these influencers seem to make it look very much possible to be safe while not compromising the happiness that these everyday activities bring us. Much like the light at the end of a dark tunnel, this campaign seems to pass on the message of hope and normality in very abnormal times, channelling some much-needed positivity to the viewers.