Benelux’s latest retail statistics (2020)

Nederlands | Francais

Like many others, I love numbers and lists. Luckily for me: new year, new figures. This year we will once again release the Factsheet Retaildata Benelux. We have been collecting retail data for over 20 years now. It started with just the Netherlands, but we’ve been doing it for the entire Benelux for over 13 years now. We’re happy to list the data for these three different countries again in 2020.

Factsheet retail data Benelux

Based on a number of statistics, we’re releasing the ‘Factsheet Retaildata Benelux’ for the third time. In this blogpost I will highlight a couple of topics, but the full factsheet includes the following numbers of all three countries:

  • the number of retail outlets
  • the retail floor space of all retail outlets
  • the vacancy rate (also by province)
  • the number of different sectors
  • the number of different retail chains
  • the degree of retail chains (also by province)
  • the distribution of the number of retail outlets per group
  • the national development of footfall (index 2010)
  • the distribution of retail outlets by type of shopping area

Shop density per capita

That there are differences in numbers is, of course, partly due to the difference in population numbers. The Netherlands had over 17.4 million residents as of 01-01-2020, Belgium about 11.5 million and Luxembourg had almost 626,000 residents at the beginning of this year.

However, while we see the number of residents increase compared to last year, the number of retail outlets in the Netherlands and Belgium is ever decreasing. In the Netherlands, this fall was compensated for a very long time by a growth in the hospitality sector (nonretail trade). But there, too, the limit seems to have been reached. The number of (occupied) retail premises is expected to decrease even more in the coming years. In Luxembourg, on the other hand, we see a slight increase (1.9%) in the number of retail outlets.

Retail floor space per capita

Since 2019, Locatus has also been registering the retail floor space (RFS) of hospitality and other services. And now, for the first time, we can determine the RFS per capita for the entire retail sector. Although the Netherlands has the fewest number of retail outlets per 1,000 inhabitants, it does have the largest number of RFS per capita.



Retail outlet per 1,000 capita
RFS per capita


17,7 2,45


12,6 2,47


14,6 2,42

Retail outlets per group

The three countries also differ in their proportions of the types of retail outlets. For example, Luxembourg has a relatively large number of retail outlets belonging to the ‘Leisure’ group, while in Belgium the ‘Daily’ group is relatively larger than in the other two countries. We can also notice that ‘Transport & Fuel’ is more popular in the Netherlands than in Belgium and Luxembourg.

the distribution of the number of retail outlets per group for the Benelux

Vacancy per province

Earlier this year, we already noted that vacancy rates have increased in all three countries. When we zoom in and look at the different provinces, there is one province in particular where the vacancy rate has not increased. In the Dutch province Flevoland the vacancy rate is 7.2%, which is 0.1% less than the previous year. In all other provinces we see increases. These vary from 0.1% (Zeeland) to 1.3% (Oost Vlaanderen).

Curious to learn more about the retail data and developments in the Benelux? For more Facts and Figures:

Download free Factsheet Benelux