UDS Rotterdam intends to invest €1.2 million per year in Rotterdam city center

today Oct 31, 2018
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Urban Department Store Rotterdam (UDS), an association of business owners and entrepreneurs, intends to invest €1.2 million per year in the city center of Rotterdam. With the yearly investments, the association aims to redevelop the city center into a more attractive shopping destination.

Rotterdam city center shopping area - Photo: Guido Pijper

UDS Rotterdam hopes to finance the investment from contributions its own association members. In November, local shop owners will vote on their participation and contribution to the UDS designed initiative.

Rob Vester, chairman at USD, told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that the association “wants to become the most innovative city center of the Benelux.” He said that “it is vital for the city center’s economy to continue to attract visitors.” By investing €1.2 million per year, UDS Rotterdam is targeting 15% more visitors and 15% more spending by 2023.  

To reach its objectives, UDS will focus on development, sustainability and hospitality. The main areas are: Central Plaza (opposite the Central Station), Kruiskade, Lijnbaan (Rotterdam’s main shopping street) and Beursplein area (including the shopping destination ‘Koopgoot’). In addition, the association wants to focus on holiday-centred events such as Black Friday, Late Night Shopping (every May), and ‘Winter in Rotterdam’.

According to research into the Rotterdam retail landscape published in August by global real estate services and investment management company Colliers International, the retail market in the city of Rotterdam is flourishing. The average shop vacancy has dropped from 9.3% in 2015 to 6.3% in 2018. The average store vacancy rate in other Dutch cities is currently at 7.7 percent. Colliers International reported that the strong Dutch economy has contributed to the city’s retail position.

Recent retail additions to Rotterdam’s city center included international brands such as Hudson’s Bay, Decathlon, Unconventional Wardrobe, TK Maxx, Inconcept and Urban Outfitters.

Department store chain de Bijenkorf has also recently announced that it will expand its luxury offer in the second largest Dutch city. De Bijenkorf cited its own research, which included an increase in visitors to Rotterdam, as one of the reasons to offer more luxury items in the Rotterdam branch.

UDS Rotterdam said that by joint investments from the association members, it aims to develop the city center from an “area” to an  “attraction”.

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