Real estate investments in retail typically have a good track record in terms of their risk-return ratio. Altera’s retail fund has also performed well.

We do identify key differences between different segments in the retail market:

  • Convenience shopping concerns spending on essential products, such as food, household goods, beauty & health products and textiles.
  • Comparison shopping is increasingly becoming a combination of buying new things and leisure time: a day out shopping in the city, with a strong emphasis on fashion.
  • Specialty shopping is mainly about the “large purchases”, such as furniture, kitchens, bathrooms, cars, or spending on DIY and garden products.

Convenience shopping

Convenience shopping spending is much less sensitive to changes in economic cycles and consumer confidence. Moreover, this type of spending is less sensitive to the success of online shopping. Local shopping centres also serve a strong socio-cultural function: there are multiple reasons why consumers visit shopping centres on a weekly basis. Convenience shopping centres are well-positioned especially now that the country’s population is aging.

Comparative shopping

For comparative shopping, we see a dichotomy in the Dutch market. Not all inner-city shopping areas are equally appealing to consumers and some may be avoided for this reason. There are some excellent inner-city shopping areas that appeal to consumers in terms of the combination of restaurants, bars, cultural activities and shopping, but this does not apply to all inner-city shopping areas in the Netherlands. This also does not necessarily apply to the large, developed shopping centres: those may be appealing, but they are relatively limited in number.  Online shopping also affects spending at large retail centres.

Specialty shopping

Spending in specialty or targeted shopping is sensitive to changes in economic cycles and consumer preferences. Online shopping also affects spending at large retail centres. Outlet centres in the Netherlands are few and far between, and are in a separate category. Their success varies.


  • Focus on food and convenience (convenience shopping)
  • geographical focus on urban areas with shopping centres with demographic potential, appropriate for the catchment area
  • active location management aimed at the satisfaction of tenants and consumers
  • More experience, comfort and convenience
  • Sustainability & ESG: the vibrant social heart of every neighbourhood and urban district

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