Lights out at Amsterdam lamp shop after 120 years in business
Amsterdam lamp store Koot is closing shop after 120 years of business in the Dutch capital. At the end of next week the store on the corner of Keizersgracht and Raadhuisstraat is closing its doors, the Telegraaf reports.
The store was an institution in Amsterdam for decades and was known as a trend setter in the field of lighting. That can partly be attributed to its location - anyone entering Amsterdam via the Rozengracht could not help but notice the striking facade of the store, according to the newspaper.
In the 80's and 90's lamp makers fought for a showcase in the Amsterdam store. "If you had a light in our window, you drew the attention of lamp stores throughout the Netherlands, so the demand increased considerably afterwards", Nico Dekker, one of the two owners, said to the newspaper. "One manufacturer after another claimed a prominent place. Sometimes the lights weren't even pretty."
The name Koot was in Amsterdam for over 120 years. "In 1895 my maternal grandfather started with an installation company in Spuitstraat", Dekker said. "My father and mother met there. And in the 70's they started a shop in Wolvenstraat: Koot Spotlights. In 1980 I bought the business from my parents and we moved to this prominent place on Raadhuisstraat in 1983."
In its heyday Koot had branches in Utrecht, The Hague and Haarlem. But over the past years, the internet has increasingly become a competitor. "We are increasingly an information desk for online shopping. People come here to look at lamps and then order them elsewhere online. One consequence is that we sell more accessories than ever. But that's not what we want. It makes it less fun. And I'm 56 now, I can still do something else."
The name Koot may not die completely. Employee Stefano van Leeuwaarde will try to continue the shop online from May, according to the Telegraaf.