Shopkeepers and bar and café owners are struggling to cope with rent increases which have been driven upwards by inflation, the Dutch retail council RND has told news website Nu.nl.
Some retailers are being faced with a rent increase of 6% and have little choice but to pass this on to consumers, RND director Eus Peters said.
The RND, retail group Inretail, small business association MKB-Nederland and hospitality industry body KHN have all called for moderate rent rises of no more than 3.5%.
They point out that 15% of rental contracts include an automatic increase in line with the inflation rate of the previous two months – and that could lead to rises of 10%.
The Parool also spoke to a number of bar and restaurant owners who say they have been forced to raise their prices because of inflation.
Riad Farhat, from the Drie Wijzen uit Oost hospitality group, which has some 20 cafes and eateries, said some prices have gone up 10%, but the cost of fuel has risen 200%.
At the group’s De Biertuin restaurant, the price of half a chicken has now risen from €11.95 to €13.95 which, says Farhat, is ‘still acceptable’. ‘But our spare ribs first rose in price to €16.50 and are now over €20, and we think that is terrible.’
Meanwhile, retail sector employers and unions have agreed a 4.4% pay rise for 175,000 shop staff in the coming six months.
Agreement has also been reached on limiting evening shifts to twice a week, apart from in December and to give part-timers priority for full time jobs.
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