Dutch cities lose shoppers
The "fun shopper" has been spending less time in Dutch city centres.
THE HAGUE—Many shopping districts in the Netherlands are attracting dwindling crowds. The “fun shopper” is apparently spending more time at home; and people are making more online purchases.
Director Gerard Zandbergen of the research bureau Locatus announced his findings Monday in Trouw.
Zandbergen calls the statistics “dramatic.” In the centre of Hoogveen the number of people visiting shops has gone down by 41 percent.
The PC Hoofdstraat in Amsterdam has also seen its shopping public decline by 32 percent. The Hague Megastores saw a decline of 31 percent, and shopping was down by 29 percent in the centres of Kerkarde and Naaldwijk.
The statistics were released for the fall of 2008, right before the outbreak of the financial crisis. Zandbergen estimates the average national decline at 10 percent.
Many shoppers do price comparisons via Internet before making a purchase. Increasing numbers of people are heading to garden, building and home centres outside of the city.
Many shopping districts could do more to maintain or attract shoppers, according to Zandbergen. He cited cities with an important regional function such as Deventer and Emmen as examples of places that could improve their methods of attracting the shopping public.
A Dutch trade organization, De Raad Nederlandse Detailhandel, says that they’re not too concerned with the figures. A spokesperson pointed out that shopping Sunday—the most important day for "fun" shopping—hasn’t declined in popularity.