Dutch independent food shops see profits rise during coronavirus

Dutch independent food shops see profits rise during coronavirus

A number of butchers, bakeries, and greengrocers saw profits rise drastically over the past few months as a result of the coronavirus, new research reveals.

Supporting local Dutch businesses

According to figures released by market research company GfK, speciality stores in the Netherlands saw an additional turnover of around 55 million euros between April and June of this year. Greengrocers and butchers did particularly well, with sales increasing by 30 to 40 percent.  

The research was carried out by examining the purchasing behaviour of 10.000 households in the Netherlands. The research shows that several independently run shops have won back business initially lost to large supermarket chains. 

GfK researcher Joop Holla told NOS: “It is against the trend that in recent years even hundreds of greengrocers, butchers and bakers had to close their doors, [but] now that people spent more time at home in the coronavirus crisis and could not eat outside, you want to spoil yourself at home. That enjoyment is better interpreted by the specialist store than by the convenience store."

Coronavirus changed shopping habits 

Coronavirus and the so-called intelligent lockdown implemented in the Netherlands by the Dutch government resulted in a number of changes to traditional shopping behaviour.

Supermarkets boomed

Supermarket chains up and down the country, including Jumbo and Albert Heijn, experienced a rise in profits. The first six months of 2020 saw Jumbo’s turnover rise by 14 percent compared to the same period last year. 

Highstreet vs online shopping

Several high-street shops also suffered throughout lockdown. British brand Primark was hit by major losses as the brand had no online webshop, and so customers could not continue to purchase items from the comfort of their homes after shops were forced to close. 

Online retailers did particularly well, with Dutch companies Wehkamp and also seeing a rise in profits. saw profits increase by 40 percent in the first quarter of 2020. Wehkamp also saw profits rise, with a drop in clothing sales but an increase in (garden) furniture sales. 

PostNL thrived

Delivery company PostNL also saw profits rise thanks to the increase in online purchases throughout the coronavirus crisis. The number of packages delivered by PostNL in March, April, and May was 25 percent higher than in the same period in 2019. Turnover rose from 681 million to 789 million euros.  

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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