Online competition no joke for traditional feestwinkels

A party shop in Deventer. Photo: FaceMePLS via Wikimedia Commons
A party shop in Deventer. Photo: FaceMePLS via Wikimedia Commons

The traditional Dutch feestwinkel, or party shop, where people buy their Carnaval outfits, balloons and joke items is on its way out, retail data researcher Locatus has found.

A fifth of all feestwinkels have disappeared from the high street in the last four years bringing the number down from 203 to 160.

The pandemic has hit the sector but is not the main reason for their demise, Locatus director Gertjan Slob told the broadcaster NOS. ‘People are shopping online more, and shops like Action have attracted the occasional buyer of Carnaval and party items,’ Slob said.

The remaining shops are doing good business in the run up to next week’s Carnaval celebrations, he said.

Retail expert Kitty Koelemeijer said the shops will not disappear altogether but will have to go one better than the online competition. ‘Services, like helping to organise parties or renting out equipment and competitive pricing could be a way forward but it won’t be easy,’ she said.

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