The number of empty shops in the Netherlands grew by 1,000 in the first six months of this year, taking the total to 16,300.
This means 7.3% of Dutch shops are now empty, compared with 6.9% at the end of 2013, according to research group Locatus, quoted by broadcaster Nos.
Despite the overall trend, the number of empty retail premises in some cities, including Utrecht, Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Den Bosch and Groningen actually fell.
‘There would appear to be some shopping areas which are simply doing well,’ Locatus analyst Gertjan Slob told broadcaster Nos.
The biggest problems remain in the provinces of Zeeland, Groningen and Limburg. In Zuid-Limburg, for example, the vacancy rate 11 in 100 shops are now empty.
At the same time, there is a large group of young, enthusiastic shopkeepers who are developing new concepts and opening new shops. These include Yagmur Mert’s perfume shop Bargello, a mix your own perfume concept imported from Turkey and now open in Utrecht.
Shops are also being transformed into homes, offices and yoga studios, Slob said.
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