The retail market in Rotterdam is running at full speed. The average shop vacancy rate has dropped from 9.3% to 6.3% in three years. The city center in particular stands out with 6%. Also in comparison with other city centers where the vacancy rate averages 7.7%. The combination of a growing population, the annual increase in the number of visitors by 8% and a well-functioning economy, gives the city center a positive impulse.
There are currently 120 stores empty in the city center and that’s 40 less than three years ago. Examples of new shops in the city are Hudson's Bay, Decathlon, Unconventional Wardrobe, TK Maxx, Inconcept and Urban Outfitters. A number of new food concepts have also arrived, such as Five Guys, The Oyster Club, De Gele Kanarie, the Yoghurt Barn and SLA.
Further improvement possible through clustering
There are still opportunities to further improve the center area by clustering comparable stores. The current fragmentation makes it difficult for consumers to compare products properly. The Hague city center can serve as a source of inspiration. Here are specific areas that focus on one type of consumer. This not only has a positive effect on the number of store visits, it also makes it easier to tie new store formulas to a this area.
Room for luxury brands
The segment with more luxurious stores is about 20% larger in The Hague and Amsterdam. As more and more households with higher incomes come to the city, there is room for brands for this segment. By extending Kruiskade to Karel Doormanstraat and Korte Lijnbaan, a cluster with sufficient scale is created. Interesting brands for the Rotterdam market are Zadig & Voltaire, Maje, Sandro, Reiss and Ted Baker or Eataly as a food concept. The current vacancy at Korte Lijnbaan offers opportunities to start this process quickly. It is important to address the appearance and quality of the real estate and public space by adapting the façades and paving.
Transformation of stores outside the city center
Outside the central shopping area, the vacancy rate is high and difficult to reduce. Due to the oversupply of retail space it is difficult to find new tenants. That is why 89% of the more than 230 vacant retail units have been empty for at least one year. 23% even for longer than three years. A different solution is needed here. Due to rising house prices, transformation into homes is becoming more and more interesting.
To make the entire Rotterdam retail market a success, a two-track policy is required. Thanks to better clustering, the city center will become more attractive for consumers and brands to come to Rotterdam. For shops outside the city center, the solution is the solution to reduce the vacancy and make the area more attractive for the current shops. Cooperation between the municipality, developers, retailers and real estate parties is essential.