Netherlands' store vacancy rate fell in 2018, report says

today Jan 14, 2019
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In 2018, the number of vacant stores in the Netherlands has declined. On 1 January 2018, the vacancy rate came in at 7.0%. On December 31, the number narrowed down to 6.7%.

Kalverstraat, Amsterdam - Photo: Facebook Kalverstraat

The year 2018 marks the fourth year since 2014 that store vacancy declined in the country, reports Dutch market research company Locatus. However, the vacancy rate was mainly reduced because many properties were given a different purpose other than retail, the company said.

In 2018, 2,000 store premises were repurposed. Some were premises that were already vacant and some were operational stores that were then converted into non-retail premises. In total, the number of retail premises decreased from 94,862 at the start of 2018 to 92,932 at the end of the year, a 2% decline.

According to Locatus, the change in purpose of the retail premises is a result of the decline in retail rent prices, while the housing prices increase. As a result, stores are often converted into homes, a change seen on a large scale in 2018.

Locatus recorded the decline in store premises mostly in smaller towns in the country such as Noord Beveland, West Maas En Waal and Sint Anthonis.

Overall, Locatus said that 2018 was a good year, because the vacancy rate has dropped considerably. However, according to the market research company, the reason for the decline points to a number of structural problems within retail.

For 2019, Locatus expects a further decline in the total retail offer in the Netherlands. The positive result is that the vacancy rate will continue to fall, but the number of stores available to the Dutch consumer will decrease further.

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