According to the Dutch Central Bank, after a few years of austerity there is growth predicted of 0.8% in 2014, 1.2% in 2015 and 1.5% in 2016.

This economic growth is stimulated by the growing consumer consumption (+1.8% in 2015/1.9% in 2016) and company investments. Next to the domestic consumption, the export is the driving force for the economy. The interiors sector, and the emergence of several iconic urban brands from this market show long-term potential. Potential luxury market size is 23 million consumers.

Market Size

  • Total population 28.0 million (Belgium 10.8 million, The Netherlands 16.7 million, Luxembourg 0.5 million).


  • Due to the economic crisis, the past 6 years have showed a decrease in garment sales. The total turnover in 2013 was 4% less than in 2012. For 2015 stabilization or a small increase is predicted. 88% of garment purchases are via in-store and 12% online, with almost all retailers combining in-store with online.
  • Consumers place a high-value on authenticity, individuality and sustainability.
  • Price is still an important value, but a growing group of consumers is looking for more sustainable choices (30% of food bought in supermarkets is organic).

Opportunity for Wool

  • Consumer-focused activity, supporting knitwear in particular will be a priority. Towards the consumer we have to work in two ways:

    • 1. Add value to the idea about wool and work with high fashion designers and brands.
    • 2. Work with brands/retailers that have significant market share to support them to sell more wool.
  • The Netherlands also has an emerging global influence in the urban sector with it being home to G-Star.