The Jewellery sector is one that has proved to be very sensitive to the economic crisis. In the Netherlands, we witnessed, for example, the bankruptcy and restart of Siebel. Besides this, the sector has to deal with other factors, such as the changing demands of consumers: trends in jewellery, “fastfashion”, 3D printed jewellery, and internet sales.
How are these trends reflected in the situation on the street? To what extent do we see differences between Dutch and Belgian jewellers? I have listed the 5 most important differences.
1 The amount of jewellers per inhabitant is larger in Belgium than in the Netherlands
In both Belgium and the Netherlands, there are currently about 1,400 jewellery businesses. However, because Belgium has a significantly smaller population size (11.3 million in Belgium against 17 million in the Netherlands), the number of jewellery shops per 1,000 inhabitants is much higher (0.12 in Belgium, 0.08 in the Netherlands).
2 Belgium has a smaller jeweller surface area per inhabitant than the Netherlands
Compared to the Netherlands, Belgium has a significantly lower floor surface area in the jewellery sector – 55,000 m2 against more than 86,000 m2 in the Netherlands. Per 1,000 inhabitants, however, the difference is much smaller: 4.9 m2 retail floor area/1,000 inhabitants in Belgium and 5.1 m2 retail floor area/1.000 inhabitants in the Netherlands.
3 The average jewellery shop in Belgium is smaller than in the Netherlands
The size of the average jewellery shop in Belgium is 39 m2. In the Netherlands, shops are much larger, with an average floor surface of 61 m2. In both countries, we notice a slight increase in the average floor surface of jewellery stores.
4 Percentage of independent jewellers is larger in Belgium
Of the 1,400 jewellery shops in Belgium, only 8% is part of a formula. The most important chains are Venizi, Pandora, and Histoire d’Or. In the Netherlands, 14% of the jewellery stores are part of a chain. Lucardi is the chain with the most retail outlets, followed by Siebel.
5 Supporting shopping areas are more popular in the Netherlands
80% of the Belgian jewellery shops are to be found in a central shopping area, such as an Inner City or Main Shopping Centre. This is the same in the Netherlands. However, one-fifth of the jewellery stores can be found in supporting shopping areas, such as the Inner-city Shopping Street. The share of retail outlets that is located outside of a shopping area, the so-called ‘spread-out shop locations’, is decreasing in both countries. Despite this, we can still find 5% of Belgian jewellers outside a shopping area.