The biggest retail news in the Netherlands during April 2021 was the lifting of the shopping appointment rule which had been implemented by the Dutch government to limit spread of coronavirus.
For the majority of April stores in the Netherlands could only accept customers with an appointment. The appointment had to be set with the retailer a minimum of 4 hours in advance. While it allowed for stores to be open, the appointment requirement didn’t allow for spur-of-the-moment shopping.
On April 20th the Dutch government announced that it would rescind the shopping appointment requirement for non-essential retail stores beginning April 28th (the day after King’s Day).
MARCH 2021 RETAIL SALES
Dutch national statistics organization CBS reported that non-food retail sales rose slightly during March 2021 compared to the same period last year but were down 7% when compared to March 2019 (pre-coronavirus).
Due to significant changes in buying habits at the start of the coronavirus epidemic, product category sales comparisons vary greatly when compared to the same period in 2020 and 2019…
Both the clothing and footwear categories rose during March 2021 when compared to March 2020 (+36% and +25.7%, respectively), but were still down significantly in comparison to March 2019.
On the other hand, the electronics/appliances and DIY categories were down compared to last year (-14.1% and -12.6%, respectively), but both recorded increases when compared to March 2019.