One-Fifth Of Retail Outlets Closed In Flanders In The Past Decade: Study
One in five retail outlets have closed in the Flanders region in the past decade, according to a press release by Comeos, the federation for trade and services in Belgium.
Presently, Flanders has approximately 45,594 retail outlets with around 8,341 or 20% shutting their doors in the past ten years.
In Wallonia, the retail store count has reduced by 15%, while Brussels has 10% fewer stores.
'Develop A Trade Vision'
Comeos has urged the government to implement a paradigm shift in the shopping license policy.
Dominique Michel, CEO of Comeos, commented, “It is high time that all cities are obliged to develop a trade vision together with the region and with the trade sector.
"Moreover, the objective criteria must be respected and if the deadlines are exceeded, the trader must receive the license automatically. A trader has no problem with a negative decision as long as it comes and is objectively motivated."
The study also found that the size of existing retail outlets increased by almost a quarter during the same period.
The sales area in stores in the Flanders region increased from an average of 206 square meters to 259 square meters, with supermarkets and clothing stores registering the highest increase in selling space.
The Flanders region has also witnessed a 60% rise in retail vacancy during this period, with one in ten shops remaining empty.
In Wallonia, one in every eight stores is vacant.
"Vacancy is a key factor in policy, which also offers opportunities to refocus," Michel added.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.