Coffeeshop, coffee house or coffee store. What are you looking for?

We often get questions about the classification of sectors and the meaning of a sector in particular. So, a few weeks ago, an English gentleman, who does market research based on our data found it strange that according to our database, there is a downward trend in the number of ‘coffeeshops’. He wondered why the numbers did not match his picture?

Misunderstandings are often hidden in small details

According to this gentleman, there are “coffeeshops” in many Dutch cities, and many more are opening.  However, we see the opposite. The number of coffeeshops is actually decreasing. “According to us, the decline in coffee shops is due to the municipalities’ tightened policies”, was our explanation. “What do you mean with legislation on coffeeshops?”.  Then it clicked. There was clearly a “sector mix-up”. ” The analysis performed had nothing to do with the American coffee houses but with the Dutch coffeeshops. The gentleman had been looking in the wrong sector. “Oh, the coffee houses, as you mean, are not part of a specific sector at Locatus. They are part of the Lunchroom sector. Formats such as Starbucks and Coffee Company are thus somewhat more difficult to analyze. “But that was not what he meant either. He was interested in coffee stores where people can buy coffee beans. So the category he meant was coffee/tea stores, and not coffeeshops or coffee houses like Starbucks.

Coffeeshops versus coffee/tea stores

The development of the number of sales outlets for coffee / tea stores looks totally different than for coffeeshops. The number of coffeeshops decreased by 13% in five years, while the number of coffee / tea stores increased by 44%. Another important difference is the ratio coffeeshops versus coffee stores in the Netherlands, it is 3:1. Finally a difference in retail chain presence: 0% for coffeeshops and about 47% for the coffee stores (including Simon Levelt and Kaldi).


All in all a funny misunderstanding. It shows how versatile the data in our database is, but also that it is good to check the definition of sectors before analyzing them.

Retail Outlet Explorer

The Retail Outlet Explorer provides you with up-to-date information about a shopping centre, a sector, or retail in the entire country. The database contains information about retail in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and, increasingly, large cities in the rest of Europe.