Figures - Trade, hotels and restaurants

Retail trade posted a turnover growth of 1.9 percent and a growth in sales volume of 1.4 percent in 2016. It was the third consecutive year of turnover growth and represented the highest increase ever recorded. Nevertheless, turnover was still 4 percent below the highest level on record before the crisis (2008). The strong growth in 2016 can be attributed to an outstanding fourth quarter, when turnover rose by 4.3 percent.

The volume of sales surged as well by 3.2 percent. Quarterly growth figures of this size were realised in retail trade around ten years ago. Non-food retail in particular performed well; consumers spent large amounts in clothes, DIY and furniture shops. For grocery stores and online shops, turnover grew strongly as well relative to the previous quarters.


Turnover in wholesale trade continued to grow in 2016, by 2.9 percent year-on-year. In Q4, turnover growth even reached 7.0 percent. Virtually all sectors recorded more turnover at year-end. The highest peaks were seen in the raw materials sector, trade in non-food retail (especially sporting goods), metal goods (+18.8 percent) and heating equipment (+8.4 percent).

On the other hand, trade in ICT equipment showed a different development and recorded a turnover decline of nearly 2 percent.

Turnover in the car and motorcycle trade was up by nearly 2 percent in 2016 relative to the previous year. Passenger car trade recorded a slight turnover increase, despite falling sales of new cars. Other sub-sectors of the car industry did achieve considerable turnover growth in 2016, especially trade in company cars (+11 percent) and motorcycles (+9 percent).

Car service points and auto part suppliers recorded growth as well. Growth figures in 2016 were even the highest since 2002.

The number of retail shops has dropped by 4.4 percent over the past decade. There are mainly fewer shops selling DVDs and CDs, photo cameras as well as baby and children’s clothing relative to 2007. On the other hand, the number of online retailers has increased fivefold in this period.
In 2016, there were over 95 thousand brick and mortar shops in the Netherlands, down from 100 thousand in 2007. Many computer shops and shops selling small electronic equipment, such as DVD and CD players, have disappeared with a 20 percent decline since 2007.

The number of clothing shops fell by 5 percent, while the number of telephone shops has risen by 37 percent since 2007. The number of department stores, fishmongers and second-hand shops rose by more than 30 percent. Clothing shops nowadays represent the majority of all brick and mortar shops.


In 2016, Dutch consumers bought over 1 billion euros worth of goods through EU webshops: a 25 percent increase compared to 2015. They mainly bought clothing items and shoes. German webshops topped the list with a share of more than 50 percent in total related purchasing value. Great Britain ranked second at around 12 percent, followed by Belgium and Italy at approximately 8 percent each. The other 20 percent was spent in webshops from across the entire European Union.

Online purchases are those which are made by Dutch consumers from companies located within the European Union but outside the Netherlands.


In 2016, hotels and restaurants recorded the strongest turnover growth in ten years, namely 6.5 percent. This represents an increase of 18.7 percent relative to 2007. The strongest turnover growth was realised by snackbars (+36.6 percent), followed by restaurants (+21.9 percent) and hotels (+20.1 percent). However, turnover declined for cafés by 2 percent in 2016 relative to 2006. The sales volume declined by nearly 25 percent as prices rose steeply (nearly 30 percent).

Snackbars, which include fast-food chains, food delivery services, lunchrooms and ice cream parlours, realised nearly 10 percent more turnover growth in 2016, the highest annual growth since 2006. The volume of refreshments sold accounted for 7.5 percent of this growth. These sales have risen again (substantially) since Q1 2015.

The number of overnight stays at hotels went up by 3 million in 2016, from 41.6 million (2015) to 44.6 million (2016). The increase in overnight stays was almost equally divided between Dutch guests and foreign guests.


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Explanation of symbols

empty cell Not applicable
. Data not available
* Provisional figure
** Revised provisional figure (but not definite)
2016-2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 Average for 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/’17 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2014/’15-2016/’17 Crop year, financial year, etc., 2014/’15 to 2016/’17 inclusive

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

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