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Footfall change at shopping centers in the Netherlands due to coronavirus March 2020

Footfall in Dutch inner cities and shopping centers in the province North Brabant decreased drastically in week 11 of 2020. Whereas the amount of foot traffic in inner cities was average during the first half of the week, it decreased by 52 percent in the Netherlands as a whole, and 63 percent in North Brabant by March 15th. A similar pattern emerged in North Brabant’s shopping centers, where footfall decreased by 31 percent. North Brabant was the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Netherlands. The first infections were reported there, likely spread by the carnival celebrations typical for the area. Local shopping centers in other parts of the Netherlands remained relatively stable.

Footfall as a measure of consumer behavior

Footfall statistics indicate the amount of foot traffic at a specified location. A rapid decrease in footfall in inner cities and shopping centers indicates that prominent physical shopping areas experienced a noticeably lower number of visitors, suggesting a negative effect on retail in these areas. Both types of shopping locations in the province North Brabant were visited less often, while this change in consumer behavior only occurred in inner cities, not shopping centers, in the rest of the Netherlands.

COVID-19 in North Brabant and the Netherlands

The Dutch government imposed regulatory measures regarding social distancing on March 12th, such as prohibiting large public gatherings and discouraging people to visit the elderly. The rapid decrease of footfall starting on March 13th was a direct result of these limitations. North Brabant’s relatively high number of COVID-19 infections is reflected in the footfall statistics. The total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases increased constantly in March 2020.

Percentage change compared to previous year of footfall at shopping centers in the Netherlands in March 2020

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.

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Statistics on "Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Netherlands"

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