Three Quarters Of Dutch Retail Entrepreneurs ‘Unable To Pass On Costs’

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Three Quarters Of Dutch Retail Entrepreneurs ‘Unable To Pass On Costs’

Just under three quarters (73%) of entrepreneurs in the Dutch retail sector state that they are either ‘unable’ or ‘barely able’ to pass on cost increases to their customers.

This is up from 53% at the start of last year, found the study from Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Increased Costs

CBS’s Conjunctuurenquête Nederland (Netherlands Business Survey), which was carried out in collaboration with KVK, EIB, MKB-Nederland and VNO-NCW, found that the majority of Dutch entrepreneurs across all sectors expect costs to go up this year.

More than half indicate that they are unable or barely able to pass on cost increases to their customers, the data showed.

Entrepreneurs in the areas of construction and business services are better equipped to pass on increased costs, compared to a year earlier, however.


In terms of construction, nearly 61% indicate that they can fully or largely pass on cost increases – up from 49% a year ago. Similarly, in business services, this figure has risen from almost 48% to just over 57%.

‘Worrying Developments’

Across all sectors, one in five Dutch entrepreneurs sees price increases as the ‘most worrying development’ for his/her/their business, while in agriculture, forestry and fishing, this is as high as 44%.

Tightness in the labour market is also cited as a worrying development by entrepreneurs, as are transport and storage.

Around a third (34%) of entrepreneurs in the Netherlands stated that they are not expecting any worrying developments, however.

In December 2023, retail turnover in the Netherlands saw a year-on-year increase of 4.2%, with sales volume experiencing growth of 1.7%. The food segment turnover rose by 4.6%, while the non-food sector saw growth of 2.6%.

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