Amsterdam shops to open 24 hours during a year-long trial

On April 6, the Amsterdam city council approved a 24-hour shopping trial that will commence July 1, 2017. 

Political proposals

The proposal had already been drafted in 2015 as an initiative set out by VVD leader, Marja Ruigrok, and D66’s Jan Paternotte.

The original draft of the proposal included the entire city apart from the Red Light District but received a lot of criticism. 

According to the VVD and D66, the offer isn’t just to please tourists, but it is there for those who work during office hours and never get a chance to go shopping.

A year-long trial

The trial will last one year, with continuous monitoring throughout including regular evaluations every quarter.

The focus is on shops being open at night, but it will also affect early risers. "Have you ever tried getting breakfast somewhere at 7.30 in the morning?" Ruigrok asked.

"No one is required to participate," claimed Ruigrok, but the trial will give entrepreneurs and people who want to move forward in life more opportunities with fewer rules and restrictions. 

Some criticism

In November 2016, nine shopkeepers and residents associations sent a letter to the council in which they advocated excluding the busy tourist areas from the plan to avoid the inconvenience of crowds and littering.

Many have also claimed that the only ones who will benefit from longer opening hours are the tourists that come to visit the city, as the shops that are likely to stay open late are the tourist shops. 

The compromise

In an effort to compromise, the new proposal only allows shops on the major shopping streets to remain open 24  hours. These include shops on the Kalverstraat, Leidsestraat, Nieuwendijk and Damrak, which many would argue are not necessarily where residents of Amsterdam spend their time.

Furthermore, shops have been given the choice, "No one is required to participate," claimed Ruigrok, and the sale of alcohol is not permitted. 

Kiri Scully


Kiri Scully

Raised a global citizen, to an Irish father and American mother, Kiri has lived and worked in five countries over three continents. Fuelled by culture curiosity at an early age,...

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