When does a store belong to a retail chain?

We twittered that 99.9% of retail outlets in the Dutch sector Galleries were independent stores. This raised questions among our followers: which chain is represented in that 0.1% of non-independent galleries? And how many galleries are there, then, in the Netherlands? We thought this would be a good occasion to go a little bit deeper into the terms retail chain and the penetration of retail chains onto the main streets of Belgium and the Netherlands.

We use the following definition for a retail chain:

Locatus registers a retail outlet as a retail chain when there are more than 7 outlets of the same brand worldwide, or when the business has more than a hundred employees (and less than 7 branches).

Keeping this definition in mind, we return to the sector Galleries. At the moment, there are 1,361 retail outlets of this sector in the Netherlands, of which 0.1% (rounded off) pertains to a retail chain. Quick arithmeticians may now start to ask questions: how can one store be part of a retail chain? In this case, the gallery is part of the international retail chain Lumas, which has 47 branches spread over Europe, Asia, and America – the classification of a retail chain is thus not limited to one country.

The retail chain status of the Bijenkorf (a trademark Dutch department store, comparable to the Marks & Spencer in the UK) has recently been hanging on a silver thread. At the moment, there are only 7 branches left. However, even if this would be reduced to 6, the Bijenkorf would still remain a retail chain, because the brand employs more than a hundred people.

Would you like to know more of the spread of independent businesses and retail chains in the Netherlands and Belgium?

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Astrid Custers

Astrid is Marketing Communication Manager at Locatus and thus comes into contact with lots of interesting information. As a result, she walks around the shopping streets with a certain degree of professional deformation – and writes about these observations…