Nieuws - 13 januari 2011

It's 5pm. Shop is closed!


I will always remember the first shop I went to in the Netherlands two years ago. It was a small Wibra shop on the Amsterdamsestraatweg in Utrecht.

It was 4.45pm when I went there and I was looking for some stuff in the shop until 5pm. Being a non-Dutch speaker at that time, I didn't know that they were announcing that the shop was closing. So I was still being me, an Asian girl who shops like mad. Suddenly a Dutch lady stood in front of me and said, 'Mevrouw, it's 5pm. The shop is closed.'
'Really?' Yeah, like really?? Do you want me out of the shop? Don't you know I'm a customer and I can spend money in this shop and you can make a profit? Well, who cares? Dutch shopkeepers just want you out of the shop at 5pm. That's all. It's weird to me because back in my country (Malaysia), shops are open until 10pm. They even open until 10pm (as stated on the shop's door), they will wait for you to choose the stuff you want and never ask you to leave the shop. How do the Dutch make a profit?
Seriously! Why open the shops on weekdays only when a lot of people go to work, and why from 10am to 5pm when working hours are at the same time? Similarly, why close the shops during the weekends? Well I guess this is their lifestyle. Somehow I manage to survive with it. But thank God Albert Heijn opens until 8pm! 
Norhariani Mohd Nor, PhD student Business Economics group