Supermarkets in the Netherlands - Statistics and Facts

The grocery landscape in the Netherlands can be divided in two major categories: the regular supermarket chains and the discount chains. In terms of both turnover and customer base, the big four are regular chains Albert Heijn and Jumbo, and discounters Lidl and Aldi. Of these chains Jumbo is the fastest-growing, with 85 new stores opened in 2015. Some of the smaller chains have a more local focus. Chains such as DekaMarkt and Deen are mainly concentrated in Noord-Holland, whereas Plus leans heavily towards the southern part of the country.

Statistics Netherlands estimated the total turnover of the approximately 6,100 supermarkets in the Netherlands in 2016 at roughly 35,000, or some six million euros per supermarket. Calculated per square meter of shop floor area, this came down to approximately 8,400 net. And according to a recent ING Bank forecast, this supermarket turnover is only expected to increase.

The Dutch consumer prefers to do grocery shopping on Friday and Saturday, the traditional shopping days. Although more and more supermarkets extend their opening hours, GfK research shows that the majority of the supermarket turnover is still made between noon and 6 PM. A strong increase in the number of households who sometimes do their grocery shopping on Sunday is also visible. Although the turnover share of Sunday grocery shopping is still relatively small, it has increased rapidly over the past ten years, with growth percentages of 12 to 53 percent each year.

Is this bad news for specialized food stores? To some extent, yes. The number of butchers, specialized potato, vegetable and fruit stores, bakeries and pastry stores decreased slightly between 2013 and 2016. The number of fish stores on the other hand increased, and the number of cheese stores and chocolatiers remained stable. But with the exception of specialized potato, vegetable and fruit stores, all these specialized food stores saw at least a turnover stability or even increase. And although customers who hardly ever visit these stores are not expected to come more often, the customer base of specialized stores is loyal. Of the consumers visiting these stores at least once a month, the majority plans to buy more, according to a recent survey. So all in all, the future of the specialized food store does not look altogether bleak, and it has proven itself to be a worthy competitor against the supermarket industry.

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Supermarkets in the Netherlands - Important statistics

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