Online supermarkets, DIY stores increasingly popular in Netherlands

More and more Dutch are buying their groceries and tools for home projects online. Web stores like Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Picnic are seeing their turnover grow with double digits every year, and DIY stores are also showing impressive growth, according to the Twinkle 100, a ranking of the 100 most popular online sellers based on turnover, NOS reports.

For the first time in Netherlands history, the Twinkle 100 has a supermarket in the top 3. Albert Heijn moved up from fifth place last year, to third this year. Though the supermarket chain is still far behind first and second place bol.com and Coolblue. Jumbo also made it into the top 10 this year. And online supermarket Picnic jumped from 25th place last year to 11th this year. 

Retail expert Laurens Sloot is not surprised that supermarkets are catching up on the online market, he said to NOS. But that does not mean that physical supermarkets will one day be a thing of the past. "Of everything we buy in the supermarket, we now do around 4 percent online", he said to the broadcaster. "Some people think we will order about 10 percent of supermarket products via the website in 2030. If that is achieved, it still means that we get 90 percent on our bike at the supermarket on the corner." 

DIY and hardware stores are also finally conquering the online market, Arjan van Oosterhout of Twinkle said for NOS. Praxis is the highest newcomer in the top 100, in 61st place. HBL-online, which sells mainly tools, also made its debut in the ranking at spot 75 this year.

"Hardware stores indeed long doubted going online", Wijnand Jongen of the home shopping organization said to NOS. "For larger devices such as drills and sanders, the internet is of course easy. But it is a huge job for a hardware store to make all the little stuff like screws and nuts and washers available via the internet. And it was a chicken-and-egg story. Consumers also doubted for a long time, but those doubts are now gone. Buying do-it-yourself items via the internet is now getting a huge swing."

The top spot on the ranking goes to bol.com with a turnover of 1.6 billion euros last year, compared to 1.2 billion in 2017. This revenue growth can mainly be attributed to sales by its business partners, according to Van Oosterhout. "Tens of thousands of dealers use bol.com as a sales platform. Without that turnover, bol would stay just ahead of Coolblue." 

The Netherlands top 10 biggest online stores based on turnover, excluding VAT:

  • Bol.com - 1.6 billion euros
  • Coolbue - 1 billion euros
  • Albert Heijn - 565 million euros
  • Zalando - 550 million euros
  • Wehkamp - 430 million euros
  • Amazon - 350 million euros
  • The Learning Network - 268 million euros
  • Jumbo - 265 million euros
  • MediaMarkt - 220 million euros
  • H&M - 215 million euros

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