Netherlands flag Netherlands: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in the Netherlands

Evolution of the Sector
According to the latest data released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Dutch retail sector recorded 8.2 percent year-on-year turnover growth in May 2020. The volume of sales increased by 5.9 percent. Turnover was up in both the food sector and the non-food sector. Furthermore, online sales increased by almost 50 percent. In May, turnover in the non-food sector was up by 1.2 percent year-on-year. Shops selling food, beverages and tobacco achieved 10.1 percent more turnover in May 2020 than in the same month last year. The volume of sales increased by 6.5 percent. Supermarkets saw a turnover growth of 10.3 percent, while turnover of specialist shops increased by 8.1 percent.

Hypermarkets was the best performing channel in grocery retailing in 2019. Although it remained a small channel in the grocery retailing in the Netherlands, with 41 outlets, the two most important players AH XL and Jumbo Groep saw strong sales growth in their existing stores.

Discounters continued to outperform modern grocery retailers and supermarkets in particular. Nevertheless, the rate at which discounters are gaining value share from other grocery channels slowed in 2019 in comparison with previous years.

Approximately 80% of the Dutch food retail outlets are full service supermarkets, operating on floor space between 500 and 1,500 square meters, located downtown and in residential areas. Retailers with full service supermarkets have responded to the need of the Dutch to have these supermarkets close to their homes. The remaining 20% includes mainly convenience stores (near office buildings, city centre, motorways and train/metro stations), some wholesalers and just a few superstores (conveniently located in shopping malls and industrial parks).
Market share
The Dutch retail industry is rather consolidated. In 2019, the main actors are:

  • Albert Hejin, 34.9% market shares
  • Superunie, 27.5% market shares
  • Jumbo Groep, 21% market shares
  • Lidl, 10.7% market share
  • Aldi Holding, 5.9% market shares

Most of the food retail stores are full-service supermarkets.  In addition there are some department stores (HEMA and Bijenkorf), convenience stores, gas markets (On the Run/Snack & Shop Shell Station, GO shops – the fresh way, Café Bonjour, and Wild Bean Café) and wholesalers (De Kweker, Sligro, Makro, Bidfood, VHC – Horesca, Hanos, and Zegro) that all sell food products.

Retail Sector Organisations
Dutch Food Retail Association

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Latest Update: June 2022

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