Which industries stand out most in Belgium?

Change is gradual. The baker leaves, a new lunchroom opens, and the shoe store moves two streets away. In small steps, the shopping street changes. But how major are the differences after 10 years?

Every year, Locatus processes adjustments for around 15% of its retail database. (For those who don’t know us yet, our database really does contain every point of sale in the Benelux). So after 10 years, the retail landscape will most definitely look different. Last week I dove into our database and took a closer look at the shifts in Belgium at sector level. What stood out?

In this blog, I compare January 2013 to the most recent data (July 2022).

Outliers based on number of retail outlets

  • Most grown (%)
    The Electro repair sector has relatively grown the most (+366%).

    • From 95 stores in 2013 to 443 stores by mid-2022.
  • (Almost) Extinct
    The sector Videoshop is in danger of extinction. In fact, it is remarkable that there are still 24 Video stores left, as this is only 16% of what it used to be 10 years ago.
  • Decreased by more than 1.000 stores per sector
    Sector Financial mediator       : -33,6% (-1.786 stores)
    Sector Bank                                : -29.2,5% (-1.459 stores)
    Sector Bakery                             : -21,8% (-1.306 stores)
  • Most additional retail outlets
    The Delivery/Take-Away sector has grown the most in terms of number of retail outlets: + 1.308 since January 2013 (+76%). We have seen steady growth here for the past 10 years, but during the corona-pandemic this sector received an additional boost.

Service sector dominates Growth Top 10

The industries that are growing most (in number of retail outlets) almost all belong to the service industry. If they do not deliver direct services, they are involved in food. Partly due to the arrival of Albert Heijn and Jumbo, the supermarket industry is also in this Top 10.

  • Top 10 Industries grown most (in total number of outlets)
  1. Delivery/Take-away
  2. Mini supermarket
  3. House Agent
  4. Fitness
  5. Tattoo / Piercing
  6. Fastfood
  7. Electro Repair
  8. Supermarket
  9. Service checks
  10. Lunchroom / 10. Beauty Salon

Apparently, more and more people want to look good, while eating in or out, and subsequently want to work off the extra pounds….

Outliers based on Retail Floor Space

  • Most grown (%)
    The three sectors that have relatively grown the most in RFS (%) are all super-specialists. Smaller branches that have added the most store meters relatively over the past 10 years:

    • Glass / Pottery +125% (+1,192 sq. ft.)
    • Coffee & Tea +86% (+4,668 m²)
    • Party goods + 80% (+ 12,414 m²)
  • Most increased (in RFS)
    In terms of volume, the Supermarket sector has gained the most. In just over 10 years, 727,676 m² of additional retail floor space has been added. Albert Heijn and Jumbo played a role in the increase here too. The number 2 – the Construction market sector – showed an increase of 154,926 m².
  • Most RFS (total)
    The Supermarket and DIY sectors not only show the largest growth in the number of store meters. They are also the two largest sectors in terms of total square meters. However, the supermarket sector has even triple the number of store meters compared with the DIY sector.
  • Most declined (%)
    The Sound & Vision branch lost the most RFS (-73%), i.e. 15,090 m² less. The main reason for this is the shift to online sales.
  • Most decreased in total RFS
    The Furniture branch has shrunk the most in terms of store floor space, with -360,533 m². The number 2 and 3 lost a lot less square meters: the sector Paint & Wallpaper -102,817 m² and the sector Women & Men’s Fashion -92,865 m².

Locatus has 217 different sectors in its database. Each sector develops differently. Would you like to know more about a specific sector? Or what would be a suitable sector distribution for your shopping area? Do not hesitate to ask us about our Sector Analysis.

One last piece of sector knowledge: Did you know that there are 60 sectors in Belgium in which only independent entrepreneurs are active (i.e. no retail chains)?

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…