Dutch consumers spent almost €8bn in online shops in the first six months of this year, a rise of 18% on 2014, according to sector association Thuiswinkel.org.
Nine out of 10 people aged 15 or older bought at least once online in the first half of the year. According to the national statistics office, total retail sales only rose by 1.8% in the first half.
The sharp rise in online retail sales has surprised the organisation. ‘They are reminiscent of figures at the start of the internet boom,’ chairman Wijnand Jongen said in a statement. ‘But people believe in the economy again. They dare to spend money and are finding it easier to do this online.’
Half the turnover is due to spending on concrete products such as clothes, electronic goods and food. The rest was spent on services like air tickets and insurance.
The rise in online shopping is having an impact on high streets but is also creating new jobs, broadcaster Nos said. However, companies such as Bol, Wehkamp, Greetz and Coolblue are finding it increasingly difficult to get good staff.
‘Post school education does not fit the new digital demands companies are making,’ Niek Veendrick of gift webshop Greetz told Nos. ‘Good webshop developers, for example, are few and far between.’
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