26 June 2023, by Victoria Séveno

According to recent figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), there are now more online stores operating in the Netherlands than there are physical shops. 

CBS: Online retailers now outnumber physical shops

The death of the high street has been a major concern across various cities and countries, as being able to shop online has soared in popularity in recent years thanks to its easy accessibility and generally speedy deliveries. 

In the Netherlands, online shopping has experienced such a boom that, as of January of this year, the country counted just over 84.000 online stores or so-called webshops. With only around 82.000 physical shops in the Netherlands, this means the number of webshops now outnumbers physical stores for the first time. 

Shops closing down across most Dutch municipalities

CBS reports that the Netherlands has seen its number of physical retail locations fall annually since 2010, with the figure falling by around 1.600 over the course of 2022 – the biggest drop recorded since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. 

Webshops, meanwhile, have experienced significant growth over the past 13 years, rising from just 12.500 at the start of 2010 to just under 50.000 at the start of the pandemic, before seeing a meteoric rise in 2020 and 2021. However, the growth rate of online stores has levelled off slightly since 2021, likely as a result of the end of the various coronavirus restrictions implemented by the Dutch government

According to CBS, 72 percent of Dutch municipalities have seen the number of physical stores in their area fall since the start of 2022. The most popular variety of both online and physical shops are clothing stores (19.300 and 13.300 respectively). Supermarkets and stores selling other household goods or garden supplies also remain popular. 

Thumb: Nigel J. Harris via Shutterstock.com.

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