In the scientific literature there are various studies about the prospects of online-shopping. Important topics are the impact of online-shopping on in-store shopping and on travel behaviour. Most of these studies are about possible future developments. There are hardly any studies which investigate empirically the effects of online-shopping. In this paper we will investigate the effect of online-shopping on the amount of retail space that is in use in Dutch municipalities. Our hypothesis is that due to the increase of online-shopping the amount of retail space in use by retailers, is decreasing.

We use data from 2011 and 2016 which include data about retail floor space and survey data about shopping behaviour of consumers. Bivariate analysis show the an increase in expenditure on online-shopping (between 2011 and 2016) is significantly related with a decline in retail space in use. Also, in a regression model, were we correct for exogenous variables such as number of households and income levels, changes in online-shopping expenditures are significantly (negatively) related to changes in retail space in use by retailers. It seems however that this effect is not present in every municipality.