At the beginning of this year, the Netherlands had about 85,500 physical stores, 13,540 fewer than at the beginning of 2011. This means that almost one in seven stores has disappeared in ten years, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.

During the same period, the online stores sprang up like mushrooms: at the beginning of this year there were no less than four times as many as ten years earlier.

Last year there were about 900 store closings (about 1 percent).

The decline was therefore somewhat less pronounced in 2020 than in the preceding years.

Remarkably, the COVID-19 pandemic therefore seems to have little effect on the number of closed stores for the time being.

Last year, many shops selling literature and stationery disappeared.

Almost one in twenty outlets disappeared.

Bookstores also struggled, as did shoe and clothing sellers.

The number of stores selling food remained virtually unchanged, while the number of computer and software vendors increased.

The data also show that the shopping density is particularly high on the Wadden Islands.

Vlieland takes the cake, with nineteen shops per thousand inhabitants.

The top five is entirely occupied by Wadden municipalities.

On the mainland, Zeeuwse Sluis is the leader with 12.6 shops per thousand inhabitants.

Maastricht is at the top of the major cities, with an average of 7.1.

At the bottom is the municipality of Midden-Delfland, with 2.1 shops per thousand inhabitants.

The number of web shops has therefore increased sharply in the past ten years.

Statistics Netherlands does not report how many there were in the Netherlands at the beginning of this year.

But the increase comes as no surprise.

E-shopping has been on the rise for years and the pandemic accelerated it.

For example, webshop organization Thuiswinkel.org reported earlier this year that more than a quarter more online purchases were made in 2020 than the year before.

Nearly 900 fewer stores in 2020

Source: CBS © Localfocus