Kom voor ons werken

Dutch retail from a Chinese point of view

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]

Caracter Company China visits the Netherlands

This is Ralph from Caracter Company China. I had the opportunity to visit our Dutch office in October and made a great tour through the Dutch retail market. And hereby, I would like to share my thoughts from a Chinese point of view:

First I have to give my praise to the high level of management of the Dutch retail stores. While the Chinese retailers are arguing – finally – how many SKUs they should carry in their giant hypermarkets, some “expert” say Costco (an American warehouse club store) carries only 5,000 and you should do the same. And then everyone is cutting down their number of SKUs. But I was shocked to see Albert Heijn XL stocks 50,000 SKUs in its 5,000 square meter sized supermarket, clear navigation, and efficient facings. With us, image 15 meters just for toothpaste!

Secondly, it is the fresh section, not only the clean, packed and convenient products but also the 50% contribution to retailers’ gross margins. In Dutch supermarkets, fresh products are cut, cleaned and prepared for the convenience for busy shoppers, and the variety created by this. The fresh section is the destiny category to all Chinese retailers. However, few are making profits, due to high costs and waste during logistics. And that is why Dutch growers can make a difference in the Chinese market with their standard and consistent products and excellent management of supply chain.

Comparing retail in China and the Netherlands

Another one clear to me is the obvious difference with different retailers and formats, service supermarkets, EDLP stores, discounters and etc. Everyone has their clear target shoppers and build their stores and assortment accordingly. It has been too easy for Chinese retailers as they grew up in a fast growing economy and as a result, every store looks pretty much the same. 85% of sales come from 9% of the brands!

And the shoppers are also quite different. The Dutch shoppers in supermarkets, to my observation, are usually busy and well oriented. They clearly know what they need and go straight for the products, no time wasted. And certainly the clear navigation helps. But in China, shoppers “enjoy” shopping, by browsing the shelves carefully looking for new products, touching,  tasting, and comparing prices. They spend way more time shopping during one trip and also more trips.

E-commerce not taking off yet?

Last, it is about e-commerce. Well, most offline retailers are trying omnichannel, to encourage shoppers make purchases in their online stores. Mobile payment is also very popular as it saves time checking out. Pure e-commerce retailers are moving into grocery to compete with traditional retailers by making huge investments (losses). But in the Netherlands, e-commerce seems very quiet. I only saw some pickup points in supermarkets. One way to prove how well offline retailers are doing to protect their own turf!

All is all, a very fruitful tour and a lot to take back to share with our Chinese colleagues and customers![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” interval=”3″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”70×70″ images=”9483,9484,9485″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Deel dit bericht in jouw netwerk
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on Twitter