Empty stores (Or: Graffiti on Voorstraat in Dordrecht)

As I mentioned in my last blog post, Marco and I went to Dordrecht about a week ago to do a stadswandeling in Dordrecht (that’s a walk around the city). After that was done, we doubled back to visit Voorstraat. People say Voorstraat is the longest shopping street in the Netherlands. Of course, such an achievement does come with a price in today’s economy: there are some empty stores. Not a lot, but enough to be noticeable.

Of course, what makes it even more noticeable is when someone adds graffiti to each of the shop windows to point out that it is empty:


Here’s an idea for this empty store: a popup cafe with free wifi!

Some graffiti points out the fact that the store has been empty for over three years. But the main purpose of it is to point out what the store could be used as (apparently if the city government cared enough to do something about it – I suspect it isn’t as easy as the graffitist hopes, though). But other ideas for popup stores (always illustrated by graffiti) include music stores, bike rental stores, and a biological store.

More information about the graffiti and pictures can be found here (in Dutch).

Something cute hanging out by the door of a non-abandoned (just closed at the time) store:


Categories: Dordrecht | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Empty stores (Or: Graffiti on Voorstraat in Dordrecht)

  1. Fun post. I haven’t visited Dordrecht as of yet.

    • It’s a cool place. And for us it wasn’t that hard to get to (about 35 minutes by train). 🙂

  2. A little over a year ago, a group of business people on Biltstraat here in Utrecht did something similar. They had stickers available in some of the shops that people would stick on the window of empty shops and write ideas on the stickers for what they would like to see move in. Someone asked for a wine bar, which was good, since we were in the process of renting a spot on the street for that purpose. 🙂 I thought the sticker idea was good, because it gave people an idea of what most people in the neighborhood were truly looking for.

    • The sticker idea is nice. That way you can see what the community wants (versus what might be just one person wants, who knows).

      But the graffiti was definitely awesome!

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