Dutch high streets and retail centres have some 15,000 empty shops, the highest total ever, RTL news reported at the weekend.
The large number of empty premises is due to bankruptcies as consumer spending slows and competition from the internet, the broadcaster said.
Meanwhile, Ronald van Zetten, chief executive at high street group Hema, said in Saturday’s AD the Netherlands simply has too many shops.
In particular, the trend towards developing out of town retail parks is worrying, Van Zetten said. For example, the new development outside Almere is ‘a bad idea given the number of empty shops in the city centre’.
Nor is it necessary to build a shopping centre in every part of town, Van Zetten told the paper.