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Retail trade in Belgium - statistics & facts

Belgium, which is located in Western Europe, is a modern economy with a diverse set of industries and commercial activities. Over the past decade, sales numbers of the entire wholesale and retail trade in Belgium had developed positively, ultimately reaching an annual turnover of about 460 billion euros. This sum was generated by a total of approximately 140 thousand Belgian enterprises (including the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles industry.

Retail chains and stores

The Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) accounted for a combined total of over 3,800 retail chains, over 1,500 of which were specifically located in Belgium. Many of the country’s largest chains, in terms of sheer number of stores, were supermarkets, such as Colruyt, Delhaize, and Lidl. By far the largest chains were ALDI and Carrefour Market, which each accounted for over 430 outlets across the country. That being said, not all stores belong to a specific chain or group. In truth, only about a fifth of retail locations in Belgium were part of a retail chain. Other than supermarkets, there were various kinds of retail categories covered, including fashion and luxury, and home goods. Overall, some 45 percent of retail locations in Belgium were either leisure stores or service outlets, making them the most common retail store types.

Pandemic shoppers

In recent years, buying behavior among Belgian consumers had not fluctuated strongly until the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic overwhelmed the world in early 2020. When the crisis began, the country’s monthly retail trade sales volume showed a sharp and sudden downward trend in April, followed by an almost immediate spike in subsequent months. In other words, consumers in Belgium were buying less, but quickly recuperated and started making more purchases than usual. When asked whether their shopping behavior had perhaps changed since COVID-19 started, an estimated quarter of Belgian shoppers stated they had tried out a different retailer, store, or website when making purchases. Many had also given new brands, as well as store brands a try.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Retail trade in Belgium" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Retail chains and brands

Online retail

Shopping habits and attitudes

Interesting statistics

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Retail trade in Belgium

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Retail trade in Belgium - statistics & facts

Belgium, which is located in Western Europe, is a modern economy with a diverse set of industries and commercial activities. Over the past decade, sales numbers of the entire wholesale and retail trade in Belgium had developed positively, ultimately reaching an annual turnover of about 460 billion euros. This sum was generated by a total of approximately 140 thousand Belgian enterprises (including the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles industry.

Retail chains and stores

The Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) accounted for a combined total of over 3,800 retail chains, over 1,500 of which were specifically located in Belgium. Many of the country’s largest chains, in terms of sheer number of stores, were supermarkets, such as Colruyt, Delhaize, and Lidl. By far the largest chains were ALDI and Carrefour Market, which each accounted for over 430 outlets across the country. That being said, not all stores belong to a specific chain or group. In truth, only about a fifth of retail locations in Belgium were part of a retail chain. Other than supermarkets, there were various kinds of retail categories covered, including fashion and luxury, and home goods. Overall, some 45 percent of retail locations in Belgium were either leisure stores or service outlets, making them the most common retail store types.

Pandemic shoppers

In recent years, buying behavior among Belgian consumers had not fluctuated strongly until the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic overwhelmed the world in early 2020. When the crisis began, the country’s monthly retail trade sales volume showed a sharp and sudden downward trend in April, followed by an almost immediate spike in subsequent months. In other words, consumers in Belgium were buying less, but quickly recuperated and started making more purchases than usual. When asked whether their shopping behavior had perhaps changed since COVID-19 started, an estimated quarter of Belgian shoppers stated they had tried out a different retailer, store, or website when making purchases. Many had also given new brands, as well as store brands a try.

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