The Dutch Retail Sector offering includes high street shops, supermarkets, shopping malls, grocery stores, convenience stores, fashion outlets, etc. Many are anchored by internationally recognized tenants and located in key centers of population in some of the world’s most stable economies.
Because of the high demand for retail premises with strong tenants international buyers can increase their return significantly by leveraging acquisitions. We work with buyers and finance houses in creating such leveraged structures.
Consumption of retail goods and services continues to increase and brings with it a growing demand for real estate assets in this sector, where rental returns of between 3% – 7% are enjoyed.
Our strategy is to target locations that have potential for rental increase and capital appreciation and work with very strong tenants that are committed to 10-15-20 year lease terms (+ renewal options) with rent increases in line with inflation. We provide comprehensive ‘turnkey investments’ where the administration of the business is handled by our Asset Management Department. Thus creating a structure where no direct investor involvement is required in managing accounting or taxation issues, as our specialized departments will deal with these issues on the investors’ behalf.
RETAIL MARKETS LARGE CITIES IN 2016
Even though the city of Amsterdam saw a rise in retail space on offer during the first six months of 2016 – one of the reasons has been the fall of the V&D department stores as well as other national retail chains – the Dutch capital’s retail property market continues to be one of the best performing markets in the Netherlands. Demand for retail space remained steady in the first half of this year, and fast transactions have kept supply periods relatively short: only 20% of supply has been available for more than a year. And so structural availability hardly presents itself in this city. Locatus data confirm vacancy levels have dropped indeed, to no more than 5% halfway through the year. Interestingly, while in most of the large cities the former V&D stores have been taken up, in Amsterdam this was only partially the case. Despite the city of Amsterdam being such an attractive place to (international) retailers, this space presents a challenge nevertheless. For instance, the future of the former V&D department stores on Kalverstraat is still uncertain and this is also true for the location in North Amsterdam. On the other hand, V&D’s retail space in the Kalvertoren was taken up within no time by Saks OFF 5TH, which is an outlet formula of the Canadian Hudson’s Bay Company. Market experts expect the Kalverstraat building to be let by the end of the year. This store is not entirely vacant; it is home to La Place restaurant which reopened only recently. Hudson’s Bay also announced it will launch a 16,000 m² flagship store in the newly developed premises on Rokin 21 and 49 as well as the Nes. In order to welcome Hudson’s Bay, previous agreements with the British Marks & Spencer and Hausmann have been cancelled.
Due to developments taking place on Rokin, prices had been adjusted upwards. The same goes for Nieuwendijk, where rents also climbed unmistakably after welcoming Primark and ZARA. Nevertheless, this was not the case across the city of Amsterdam. A wider choice on Beethovenstraat, Kinkerstraat, Jan Evertsenstraat and the Boven ’t Y shopping mall has put rents under pressure. Boven ’t Y is still suffering from its paid parking policy, attracting fewer visitors ever since. The good news is that parking fees will be reduced as from June 1st.
P.C. Hooftstraat is the street where luxury and premium stores are situated, such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel, Dior, Tiffany, Cartier, Chopard, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Brunello Cucinelli, Dolce & Gabanna and many other mono brand stores. The street holds 94 stores and is well loved by wealthy, private investors as well as institutional investors. Looking at the large demand for prestigious investment objects, the initial yields lie between 3% – 4% gross initial yield.
Kalverstraat is the busiest shopping street in Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands. In 2015, it was rated the 18th most expensive street in the world based on rent prices. The street begins at Dam Square and ends roughly 750 meters further, near the Munttoren tower at Muntplein. Approximately 150 national and international brand stores are located in Kalverstraat, including (large) retail chains such as H&M, Peek & Cloppenburg, Zara, River Island, Bershka, Stradivarius, Under Armour, Mango, Superdry, Forever21, Pull & Bear, Urban Outfitters, Top Shop, Ralph Lauren Denim, Tommy Hilfiger, Esprit, Nike, Desigual and Pepe. The emphasis of the range offered lies on fashion sold through retail chains.
Being able to re-let V&D’s previous premises on Grote Marktstraat within a short period of time led to exceptionally high transaction volumes in The Hague in the first six months of 2016. Sports discounter Decathlon, Stradivarius and Hudson’s Bay announced they will take up most of the released space. Hudson’s Bay will be the main lessee (18,500 m²). Decathlon will claim approximately 3,500 m² in the basement. First however, the building will be substantially renovated. Transactions in the city of The Hague are consistent with previous years. The number of stores on the market as well as the amount of space available dropped slightly in the first six months. High take-up numbers, however, did not accurately illustrate the situation in The Hague’s retail market, where most retailers are struggling to make ends meet. Rents in this city are generally under a serious amount of pressure. Because of increased choice on Spuistraat and Vlamingstraat, rents in the A segment were unable to maintain the same level, with the exception of Grote Marktstraat. By pedestrianizing Grote Marktstraat, the shopping experience on this street has improved significantly. Combined with the ‘Nieuwe Haagse Passage’, the city of The Hague has succeeded in providing a shopping area with an international character. Today Grote Marktstraat as well as Spuistraat are considered the best retail location (A1) in The Hague. Although the situation is still manageable around De Passage, entrepreneurs on Spuistraat are experiencing some fierce competition from major retail chains on Grote Marktstraat, like Primark and Marks & Spencer, causing ‘gaps’ on this shopping street. The same applies to Vlamingstraat and Lange Poten. Here, contracts with a a break option after two years are the rule rather than the exception. Agreements signed without this option usually come with incentives like two or four rent-free months. The outlook is bleak as far as the New Babylon shopping mall is involved. Lessees require a high degree of flexibility or they are paying very low rents. Not being able to attract the expected number of visitors, entrepreneurs are failing to achieve turnover. Many of them want to leave. Nevertheless, this challenging situation has not been reflected by vacancy rates (10%) that hardly changed. The Hague’s structural supply is also low.
Hoogstraat is the premium street with tenants such as Michael Kors, Karen Millen, Hugo Boss, Zadig & Voltaire, Tommy Hilfiger and Lacoste. Many other formulas in the higher segment want to have a store in this street but since there is no offer, expectation is that lease prices will rise here.
Demand for retail space has intensified in Rotterdam’s main shopping area since the start of this year. Last year in Meent, Hoogstraat and Karel Doormanstraat among other places, more space became available than the market wished for. One of the reasons has been the bankruptcy of several national retail chains. Nevertheless, the demand-supply ratio has now rebalanced. Intensifying demand also allowed vacancy levels to drop in the main shopping area since early this year.
Just like in other large cities in the Netherlands, Hudson’s Bay is most likely to move into V&D’s previous premises in Rotterdam as well. Another interesting transaction has been the lease of retail space to the Danish retail chain called Søstrene Grene, who intends to launch a store on Hoogstraat. Since the curtain has dropped on several shoe stores, supply has slightly intensified on Hoogstraat, however it did fall recently. In addition, the news came that the previous post office on Coolsingel will live on as a boutique hotel and wellness centre. Shops are scheduled on the ground floor and basement. This is a good solution for a building that has been unoccupied for five years. As a matter of fact, redevelopment will have positive impact on the entire area, which has been suffering tremendously from long-term vacancy. Market experts also embrace the rationalised plans for Forum Rotterdam. Although there have been no doubts about the project’s feasibility, adding this amount of space to the city centre would interfere significantly with Rotterdam’s retail property market.
As supply levels climbed in Rotterdam in recent years, rents remain under pressure in this city. Also there have been more opportunities for the hotel and catering industry, claiming an increasingly influential role on Rotterdam’s shopping streets. Leases and rent levels have become more flexible to better meet entrepreneurs’ requirements.
Lijnbaan is the main shopping street of Rotterdam. It was opened in 1953 as the main pedestrian street in the new shopping district. It is a completely car-free zone and has been a test case for numerous car-free shopping streets around the world. Despite the fact that many more new shopping streets have been added to the city centre, Lijnbaan has retained its attraction for international retailers and still can be seen as the best shopping street in Rotterdam. The shops on Lijnbaan are located in nationally listed buildings. Best known retailers situated at the Lijnbaan are: Pull & Bear, Hilfiger Denim, Footlocker, Mango, Snipes, River Island, Hollister, Zara, H&M, Bershka and Urban Outfitters.
Retailers’ increased interest paid off in the first half of 2016, especially as far as Utrecht’s city centre is involved. The number of stores available in the inner city has dropped by one quarter, however supply rates did climb on Steenstraat. Supply on this street has slightly intensified, as some of the clothing stores and catering businesses are unable to survive. The good news though is that these stores should welcome new owners (e.g. national chains) very soon. This is not the case when it comes to Oudkerkhof, a street that has been struggling for quite some time now, putting rents under serious pressure. Healthy demand for retail space is a fact, given the number of transactions signed so far. Because smaller units were involved in the first place, take-up levels in the city of Utrecht could not keep up with previous periods. The amount of space on offer remained almost steady, although vacancy that presented itself after V&D’s bankruptcy had not been taken into account, as a result of which supply levels increased significantly in Hoog Catharijne. Because this space had not been officially offered, it has not been included in the supply statistics. A new lessee has not yet been found for V&D’s former location, although fashion chain Primark might be interested. It looks like retailers are waiting for renovation of this part of Hoog Catharijne to come to an end before they will take any decisions. Another interesting redevelopment in the city of Utrecht involves De Planeet shopping mall – on the corner of Lange Viestraat and Oude Gracht – which will travel back in time, to the 1940s. Back then it was home to a department store known as Galeries Modernes. In this respect, Hudson’s Bay could be a most appropriate candidate for this location, however no intentions whatsoever have been communicated up to this point. Perhaps it is because this place is diagonally across another department store called Bijenkorf. In addition, H&M announced it will be renting approximately 2,200 m² in the Leidsche Rijn Centrum shopping mall. This is good news as the latter has been struggling and there have been some serious doubts as to whether it might ever be booked up. The same goes for the Terwijde shopping mall. The problem is that both shopping malls are fiercely competing with one another on the occupier market. Just like in most large cities, rents in Utrecht are under pressure, with the exception of those paid for the city’s main shopping streets. Alternatively, incentives are offered as well as two-year break options are included in the lease contracts.
Lange Elisabethstraat is the main shopping street in Utrecht and is connected to Vredenburg, Steenweg and Bakkerstraat. Lange Elisabethstraat can be seen as the best part of the shopping heart of Utrecht. Retailers like Tommy Hilfiger, Scotch & Soda, Michael Kors, America Today, Adidas, Snipes, Pandora and many others have branches here.
Due to considerable interest from international retail chains, Eindhoven’s retail property market was characterised by the proper take-up of large retail areas in the first half of this year. The French sports formula Decathlon announced it will be moving into the Piazza Center. Covering 1,300 m², this is a relatively small establishment, as it already has a bigger one in Best which is close by. This transaction meets the company’s strategy to launch stores in major city centres. In addition, the Swedish H&M has signed a lease involving a 625 m² retail area on Rechtestraat, destined for its Monki formula. The market also has been told that Stradivarius, a subsidiary of the Spanish Inditex, will be joining Demer, which is the main shopping street in Eindhoven.
Demer is the most important and busiest shopping street in Eindhoven and together with Rechtestraat, it forms the shopping heart of Eindhoven. Pull & Bear, Ici Paris XL, Just Brands, Expresso, Foot Locker, Douglas and Kiko Milano have branches here. The best piece of news, however, involved V&D’s entire premises in the city centre. Presumably, an agreement has been reached and parties are on the verge of signing the contracts. The positive mood on Eindhoven’s retail property market has allowed retail supply rates to drop, and the number of vacant properties to go down as well. Despite slightly fewer transactions compared to previous periods, take-up levels were higher. The main shopping streets in the city centre hardly provided any options halfway through 2016. The only stores available are located on the outskirts of the city centre. Parties were particularly interested in A1 and A2 locations, but the city’s tight market did not provide sufficient options. In this regard, parties may join the queue knowing that C&A’s previous premises will be redeveloped, resulting in more retail space to become available. Also due to the arrival of TK Maxx and H&M Home, the number of people visiting Heuvel has skyrocketed. The renovation of this shopping mall definitely paid off. Although some of the mall’s premises are still unoccupied, things are clearly changing for the better. This is not the case when it comes to another shopping mall called Woensel. It has many vacant premises, putting prices under pressure. One positive detail in this regard is that SoLow has signed a lease involving a 1,200 m² retail area on Charles Vögele’s previous location. Also the market has been told that the former La Place has found a new purpose. Rents remained generally steady in Eindhoven, although incentives were offered in some of its less appealing areas.
Compared to previous years, demand for retail space in the city of Groningen remained very poor in the first half of 2016. The transaction involving Topshelf – which will take over most of V&D’s premises – allowed take-up levels to remain up to standard nevertheless. However, it disguised the serious downturn in demand evidenced by the amount of transactions taking place. Interestingly, many of Groningen’s retail premises are used for daytime catering businesses and office organisations. Consumers’ changing purchasing behaviour matters to some extent, and Groningen has been suffering enormously from relatively many bankruptcies in previous years. And so despite healthy rental by catering businesses, many retailers are going through a rough patch. This is also evidenced by the fact that since the beginning of this year, supply has intensified on Herestraat (1 or 2 versus 7 retail properties). It should be noted, however, that this supply is concentrated in the inferior section of this street, which is the first section, the one that has not been pedestrianised. Herestraat is the main shopping street of Groningen. It is also connected to the central market square. Many national and international retail chains are represented in this street, such as The Body Shop, Adidas, WE, Footlocker, Ici Paris XL, De Bijenkorf, Pandora, Mango, Esprit and River Island.
Despite limited demand for retail space, supply levels only dropped to some extent. And so did the vacancy numbers, although this mainly followed from the rental of several peripheral retail trading locations outside the city centre. For instance, Keukensale took up space in the home furnishings boulevard Hoendiep. Availability hardly changed in the city centre, although the vacant premises on Waagstraat have been let out. Considerably fewer units became available compared to last year. Another good piece of news is that Primark, after launching a store in the Westerhaven shopping mall, has been attracting huge crowds to the area, turning the Westerkade into a very busy place. For now, this has been interesting to catering businesses in the first place. Like KFC, who joined the area last year.
Zwolle’s retail property market is definitely booming, thanks to transactions with Primark (year-end 2015) and ZARA (2014). In addition, none other than Hudson’s Bay will be moving into V&D’s previous 12,000 m² premises in the city centre. All three retail chains will launch no earlier than in 2017, probably attracting more visitors to downtown Zwolle than ever before. Zwolle’s attractive retail market is also confirmed by the property figures. The number of transactions in the first six months exceeded those reported in the same period in previous years. In addition, availability diminished unmistakably in terms of stores as well as the amount of space involved. Nevertheless, Zwolle has clearly paid a price after V&D’s bankruptcy.
Entrepreneurs on this street are having a more difficult time (rising availability). However, Hudson’s Bay is expected to make a difference. Hopefully, Hudson’s Bay will also have positive impact on Weeshuistraat, which is being tormented by vacant premises. The number of people visiting this indoor shopping mall plummeted after V&D’s bankruptcy. But even before that it was struggling, losing one lessee after the other. Hudson’s Bay however will not launch anytime soon. The development of the new car park on the Katwolderplein square, and the arrival of Primark in 2017, will make the Melkmarkt much more interesting to retailers. Once the car park is ready, more people will access the city centre using the Rodetorenbrug, pushing up the number of visitors. The news also came that Hornbach (14.000 m² DIY megastore and garden centre) will definitely join the city of Zwolle. The news caused quite a stir, however the Council of State dismissed all objections and now construction may proceed. Delivery is scheduled to take place in fall 2017. Due to strong demand for retail space on Diezerstaat, prices charged for A1 locations remained undiminished high. Diezerstraat is the main shopping street of Zwolle with retailers such as Mango, Scotch & Soda, Douglas, Hunkemöller, Costes, America Today, H&M, Sneakers, Footlocker, Expresso, The Body Shop, Rituals, Bershka and many others. Prices were generally under pressure in the B and C segments (e.g. Roggenstraat, Het Eiland shopping area).
Enschede’s retail property market is clearly moving in upward direction. Availability on the local retail market slimmed down significantly in the first six months of 2016. It means that much less space was offered compared to previous years. Vacancy levels have dropped as well. The A area escaped the crisis entirely. There are no vacant premises and whenever a property presented itself, new lessees were usually found without delay. In fact, the A area in this city is becoming bigger because several major parties have settled with less superior locations, attracting many more passers-by there. The fall in supply was mainly caused by Woonplein Enschede, previously home to many vacant stores. After renovating this home furnishings boulevard last year much space has been taken up, pushing down supply levels at an accelerated pace. The positive mood on Enschede’s retail property market also paid off for the city’s main shopping area. The amount of stores available on Haverstraatpassage went down significantly in the first six months of 2016. After many years, rentals are now outpacing supply. Also rents have dropped to such an extent, local entrepreneurs are now able to earn some money. Just like in some of the other large cities in the Netherlands, Enschede will also be welcoming Hudson’s Bay that will take up V&D’s former premises. Also it is interesting to mention that new retail space that presented itself in Enschede after redevelopment, has been welcoming new lessees within a short period of time. Like ZARA, claiming approximately 4,000 m² in the refurbished Hofpassage; HEMA’s previous location on Kalanderstraat turned out rather interesting to major international retailers. Supply as well as take-up levels developed in a positive direction but also, significantly fewer premises joined the market compared to last year. Because large international chains have decided to settle in Enschede and given the expanded range of shops, the city has become increasingly popular, especially to the German hinterland. The number of those visiting the city centre has grown as well. Last year, Enschede welcomed several German catering concepts. Rents charged for A1 locations did not drop despite the crisis, remaining undiminished high. Enschede’s other locations experienced fierce competition in recent years. The good news though, is that the lessors on these streets will be able to charge slightly more rents in the future.
Arnhem’s retail property market is clearly going full steam ahead once more, making a serious comeback since early this year. There has been a growing demand for retail space, allowing many more transactions to take place compared to previous years. Supply as well as vacancy levels have dropped since the beginning of 2016. Arnhem’s city centre has suffered enormously from Macintosh group’s bankruptcy (Scapino, Dolcis, Invito, Manfield, PRO Sport, etc.) and also from the fall of the Etam Group (Miss Etam and Promiss), leaving many stores vacant including those on A1 locations. Last year the city of Arnhem was home to a relocation market in the first place, focussing the B2 and C segments on the outskirts of the city, however this year something quite different happened. Due to intensifying demand for retail space in the A and B1 segments, last year’s vacant properties have now been taken up entirely. The vacancy issue in the A1 area has been solved as well. Retailers in search of A1 space covering at least 200 m² hardly have any options left. Only a PRO Sport store (approx. 70 m²) on Vijzelstraat is physically empty. It is mainly new establishments of national and international retailers that continue to dominate Arnhem’s retail property market, allowing the necessary innovation and change to take place. Even though Miss Etam’s former store was taken up by ZARA who decided to expand activities, in 2016 the city of Arnhem will be home to many new retail formulas. This year KIKO Milano, Gabor, Superdry, Rivièra Maison, The Read Shop, YAYA, Coef, C.O.S. and ANWB signed contracts involving retail property in the city centre. The main development has undeniably been the arrival of Topshelf, instantly closing the gap V&D has left. Covering over 8,000 m², in fact it is the biggest megastore of this company. In Arnhem, Topshelf will offer a more extensive range of products compared to its other locations. In addition to sportswear and fashion, it will also be focussing on beauty, travel and school items. Behold a department store rather than a sports shop. The catering industry is also booming in the city of Arnhem. Master chef Sergio Hermans is said to be launching a French fries snack bar on the corner of Vijzelstraat and Bakkerstraat. The 1,500 m² former post office on Jansplein square, which has been empty for a long time, has also been taken up by a catering company. The property will be home to a new grand-café with a revolutionary self-service beer wall. Because of the vacancy that presented itself last year after the almost simultaneous collapse of several retail chains, Arnhem’s rents have been generally corrected across the line. Supply and demand are now back into balance.
Ketelstraat is one of the main shopping streets of Arnhem and is connected to Roggestraat, the location of the Musis Kwartier shopping centre. The following retailers are also present: Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, Swarovski, WE, Adidas and Primark.
Maastricht’s retail property market continues to excel. Being such an appealing shopping city, demand for retail space remained undiminished high. Halfway through 2016, hardly any properties were available in this city’s main shopping area, nor vacant. Despite limited availability, there have been some very interesting changes in the first half of this year. Footwear retailer Clarks launched on Grote Staat, while Sneakers Concept moved into a property on Kleine Staat. The news also came that fashion chain State of Art has signed a lease involving retail space on Wolfstraat. Supply and vacancy levels have dropped. Take-up also developed in a positive sense in the first six months. Most transactions, however, involved the city’s shopping streets leading to the high street, each of them experiencing a very different situation. Muntstraat does not have any vacant premises, and in fact it is sufficiently popular being a stone’s throw away from the Mosae Forum shopping mall. Given the proximity of another shopping centre called Entre Deux, this is also true for Spilstraat. Nieuwstraat on the other hand has been less fortunate. Even though a transaction did take place, supply numbers have climbed after H&M Beauty’s decided to exit. Wycker Brugstraat, which is located between the railway station and Sint Servaasbrug towards the old city centre, continues to be very popular as far as retailers are concerned. Intertoys and Holland & Barrett launched only recently as well as a hobby shop known as Pipoos. The street is also appealing to catering entrepreneurs. This year the area (Maastricht’s ‘Quartier Latin’) will also welcome a Wyck Bazaar, a food hall concept. Although an official announcement had not been made at the time of writing this publication, the odds are that Hudson’s Bay will be moving into V&D’s former premises. The formula in question remains to be seen. Hudson’s Bay’s formula with the same name is dedicated to the higher market segment, just like its neighbour Bijenkorf, which is located in the same building. Therefore this location will probably be home to Hudson’s Bay’s outlet formula known as Saks OFF 5TH. Rents remained generally steady in the city of Maastricht, even though incentives were not unusual in the B and C segments, in the form of renovation permits or several months’ rent free. Another common way to convince entrepreneurs is to agree on a two-year break option. Maastricht is also the home of the world’s biggest antique & art fair named “TEFAF”. The breadth and quality of the objects displayed are admired throughout the world. In 2011 TEFAF attracted visitors from over 181 museums from 20 countries. More than 2,000 collectors participated in TEFAF this year.
Kleine Staat and Grote Staat form the main shopping strip of Maastricht. Kleine Staat is a very short street, which runs from Muntstraat to Wolfstraat with tenants such as Bijenkorf, Only, Claudia Sträter, WE, Swarovski and Sac d’Anvers.
Grote Staat and Kleine Staat form the Triple-A shopping strip of Maastricht. Grote Staat is situated between Vrijthof (central plaza) and the Maas (one of Hollands largest natural rivers). Anchor tenants in this street are Bijenkorf, Bershka, Lush, Foot Locker, Mango, Ici Paris XL and Hema.