The arrival of Amazon in the Netherlands can mean more bankruptcies in the Dutch retail landscape, credit insurer Atradius said in a forecast on Wednesday. The American online giant's appearance in the Dutch market will put extra price pressure on retailers, meaning bad news for the weaker players, said Edwin Kuhlma, head of risk management at Atradius Nederland, NU.nl reports.
Percentage wise, web shops and parcel deliverers delivered fewer packages late this past December. Sinterklaas in particular was more on time - only 3.5 percent of packages were late, compared to 5.5 percent in 2018. The delivery of Christmas cards, on the other hand, did not go well - 36 percent of people complained that their Christmas cards arrived after Christmas or even after New Year's, NOS reports based on a study by Q&A.
Amazon is looking to expand the range of products it sells in the Netherlands on Amazon.nl. Companies who want to sell their products through the platform can register with the American web giant from Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
Currently, Amazon.nl sells only books. But the company intends to expand its offer to "millions of products" through the course of the year, thereby explicitly competing with the Dutch Bol.com.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance believes that too many people in the Netherlands buy things on credit, and as a result an "unacceptably high" number of Dutch are in arrears on their payments. He is therefore giving online stores a year to improve this situation, or he will take measures himself, he wrote in a letter to parliament, the Telegraaf reports.
Online stores are asking the government for a public online means of identification, similar to the government's DigiD. This will greatly improve safety in online shopping, according to branch organizations Detailhandel Nederland and Thuiswinkel.org, and travel companies' organization ANVR, the Telegraaf reports.
The lack of online identification creates a distinct difference between online and physical trading, and promotes identity fraud, a spokesperson for Thuiswinkel.org said to the newspaper.
Bijenkorf is no longer immune to the ravage online shopping caused to the Dutch retail landscape. The department store chain is cutting costs to turn the tide with dozens of layoffs and the cancellation of its most expensive event of the year - Turn On The Lights in Amsterdam, Financieele Dagblad reports based on anonymous sources and a document to employees the newspaper has in its possession.
Amsterdam's Kalverstraat and Utrecht's Noordpassage are the busiest main shopping streets, or high streets, in the Netherlands, according to research data from Locatus. In Europe these two streets rank in 17th and 19th place respectively. The busiest shopping street in Europe is the Zeil in Frankfurt, followed by London's Oxford Street and Leicester Square in second and third place.
The majority of Dutch who fall victim to an online scam don't report it to the police or their banks, largely because they considered the money they lost too little for the hassle, according to a study Statistics Netherlands did with the police.
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.
Suppliers force web stores to charge minimum prices for their products, refusing to deliver to stores who sell their products for lower prices. While this is not allowed, the practice is common, the Dutch authority for consumers and markets ACM said to NOS.
By 2025 the Dutch market for the online sale of non-food items will be dominated by one or two platforms, like Amazon, Alibaba or bol.com, ING's economic office said on Wednesday. By that year 35 to 40 percent of all online sales will go through these platforms, the bank expects, NU.nl reports.
While online sales in the Netherlands are still fragmented, this will change in the near future. "The Netherlands is on the verge of a new battle in online retail, now that international platforms are approaching our country", said Dirk Mulder, sector banker for ING Trade & Retail.
In the run-up to Pakjesavond, PostNL processed a record number of around 12 million parcels in its distribution centers. Last year just under 10 million parcels were processed between Black Friday and December 4th, NU.nl reports.
According to PostNL, this figure was higher than expected, thanks to the increasing popularity of doing Sinterklaas shopping online. Black Friday and Cyber Monday were also busier than ever. The Dutch postal service is preparing for a similarly busy Christmas period.
PostNL was flooded with complaints in the run-up to Pakjesavond on Tuesday. Hundreds of customers were worried that their Sinterklaas gifts would not arrive on time, AD reports.
The fact that Sinterklaas is increasingly buying his gifts online has its disadvantages. Online shops, sorting centers, and package deliverers were overflowing with packages this past week, according to the newspaper.
Over 13 million Dutch spent a total of 22.51 billion euros on online purchases in 2017, 13 percent more than in 2016, according to the latest figures from Thuiswinkel Market Monitor. Last year 95 percent of Dutch made at least one online purchase, AD reports.
According to Wijnand Jongen, director of Thuijswinkel.org, online shopping "is becoming increasingly important within the Dutch retail world". Within the retail sector, the share of online shopping is now almost 10 percent.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday turned out to be very busy days for Dutch online stores, with Bol.com, Coolblue and Mediamarkt all reporting record breaking numbers in visitors and sales. PostNL warns that there may be some delay in delivering packages.
"Over the past days there were many extra online orders. We are delivering most packages today. For a small part of the packages, we expect a delay. We will deliver those packages tomorrow", the Dutch postal service wrote on its site on Tuesday.
Dutch people increasingly shop online, according to Statistics Netherlands. The online purchase of food products in particular increased sharply.
This year 76 percent of Dutch aged 12 and older made at least one online purchase, compared to 73 percent last year. Dutch consumers also buy online more often. Clothing is most often bought online, with 52 percent of Dutch having purchased clothing online at least once this year. Tickets to events come in second place with 45 percent.
Take extra care when buying something on social media marketplaces, the Dutch authority on consumers and markets warns in a campaign launched on Thursday. According to the ACM, people often order items via ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram without making sure that the seller is reliable, and therefore regularly lose money.
Fashion chain Tuunte was declared bankrupt by the court in Zutphen on Tuesday, director Louis van Andel announced. He already informed the 250 employees working in the 45 Tuunte stores. The stores will likely remain open for the time being, and a bankruptcy administrator will investigate whether a restart is possible, ANP reports.
Dutch people over the age of 75 are increasingly using the internet, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Tuesday. Currently 60 percent of Dutch elderly have internet access at home, compared to slightly more than 40 percent four years ago.
This age group is also making increasing use of smartphones and tablets, in addition to PC's and laptops. In 2012 about 10 percent of over-75 year olds had a tablet and 5 percent had a smartphone, now 30 percent have these devices.
Sinterklaas spent nearly 1.3 billion euros shopping online for gifts this year. That is an increase of 35 percent compared to the online spending around the Sinterklaas celebrations last year, according to a study by PostNL and Thuiswinkel.org, AD reports
"Between 1 November and 5 December, the average weekly turnover is over 250 million euros", according to the researchers. "For the total Sinterklaas period the turnover comes down to 1.26 billion euros. That means an increase of 35 percent compared to the only sales of 933 million euros in the same period in 2015".
Sinterklaas season, and its accompanying increase in online shopping in the Netherlands, is leading to a very busy week for PostNL. The Dutch postal service expects to deliver a record number of over 5 million parcels during the Sinterklaas celebrations, ANP reports.
"Our sorting centers are running at full power across the country", Gerrit Mastenbroek, director of the parcel division of PostNL, said to the broadcaster on Tuesday. "Next week there will be 3,800 delivery drivers on the road, that is 600 more than a normal delivery day."
The Dutch authority for consumers and market ACM fined five online stores a total of 590 thosuand euros for violating regulations concerning returns or cancellation of purchases. The shops involved are Bever, Coolcat, Kiesdejuistepsortbh, Hipvoordeheb and Shoebaloo, ACM announced on Tuesday.
According to ACM, the involved online stores insufficiently inform their customers about the rules that apply to cencelled purchases. "This means that consumers do not know what they are entitled to, such as the full purchase price, including delivery costs, to be repaid in a timely manner."
The number of online shoppers in the Netherlands doubled over the past decade, with 71 percent of Dutch now doing at least some of their shopping online, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.
Dutch consumers spent more than half a billion euros on purchases from foreign online stores, a third more than in 2014. Chinese online stores are particularly popular, accounting for a quarter of the spending, according to figures collected by market researcher GfK and PostNL