Since the economic crisis began in 2008, some 22,000 Dutch high street stores have closed, largely through bankruptcy, broadcaster Nos says on Monday.
By the end of this year, there will be some 90,000 shops in the Netherlands, market research group Q&A says, down from 112,000 seven years ago.
Among the chains which have gone bust this year are clothes shop Mexx, bike accessory company Halfords, the Free Record Shop, book shops Polare and De Slegte and jewellery chain Siebel. A number of other companies have relaunched.
‘The bankruptcies are of course terrible for the people involved but in the main it will be better for the Dutch retail landscape,’ Q&A director Frank Quix told the broadcaster. ‘The Netherlands had far too many shops.’
In particular, a string of bankruptcies in the consumer electronics and white goods sector will give breathing space to those left, he said.
Retail and brand expert Paul Moers told Nos that ‘if you don’t deliver what the consumer wants, you will go bust. It is that simple.’
Mexx, for example, was ‘asleep’ he said. ‘The world changed with the arrival of the Zaras, H&Ms and Primarks. They all offer cheap designer clothes. But Mexx remained in the middle which was really stupid.’
Quix says other retail chains will get into financial difficulties in early 2015. ‘Banks wait until after the Christmas period but if that has not gone well, there will be more trouble,’ he said.
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