International brands use major Benelux cities as an important stepping stone in their European expansion strategy, a new study says. Many major brands schedule openings in the Benelux immediately after hubs like Paris and London, mainly thanks to its central location.
Benelux important part of expansion
According to real estate service provider JLL, 78 % of 200 international brands have a presence in Amsterdam, the city that performs best out of all of the Benelux' shopping cities. Brussels welcomes 71 % of these brands, while Antwerp is third with 68 %. Looking at the entire European map, JLL places Amsterdam 11th, Brussels 12th and Antwerp 20th in the list of most attractive European shopping locations.
Plenty of retailers consider the Benelux as an important part of their European expansion strategy, as its ideal location between primary markets like London, Paris and Berlin is an important asset for the region. "The mature markets, the urban population growth and eCommerce's growth which forces retailers to optimize their store network are what draws in retailers to the major cities in the Benelux", the real estate service provider concludes.
Luxury and hospitality are growth areas
Both the luxury industry and the hospitality industry have been given additional attention in JLL's study and it becomes clear that there is still plenty of growth to be achieved in the Benelux. When it comes to the luxury industry, a huge number of American and Asian tourists brings in potential revenue streams for these brands, which is also why an increasing number of flagship stores have popped up in the Benelux over the past two years. Amsterdam, Brussels and Antwerp have all benefited from this trend, but the brands will have to find a way to have a successful online presence as well.
The hospitality industry focuses more on experiences and ways to enthrall the consumer, like with the Markthal in Rotterdam and the Mercado in Antwerp. "A varied range of eating establishments in a retail zone will keep customers busy for longer periods of time and will create an experience that transcends the retail experience itself. In this industry, many new formulas, both small and large, are focusing on this consumer demand", JLL says.