Around 2,500 shops in Wallonia have closed in the last 10 years, L’Echo and De Tijd reported on Saturday.
The two papers added that 9,700 shops in Brussels and Flanders have also closed. One in five retail properties in Wallonia is currently empty.
“This trend became more apparent in Wallonia in 2018, as we lost 622 shops. The 2019 figures are showing a similar pattern. 475 shops had to close by August this year,” the Neutral Independents Union said.
The specialist study bureau Locatus revealed the amount of empty retail properties in the Brussels region has more than doubled, going from 5% in 2009 to 11.1% in 2019 (and even 11.9% in the city itself). It went from 5.9% to 9.7% in Flanders.
The high amount of shop closures can be explained by the popularity of e-commerce giants, as well as changes in consumer behaviour and real estate pressure.