This thesis is an explorative study comparing the differences between vintage clothing retail business models in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, particularly since 2010. The vintage clothing retailing sector was researched as an urban function within first-tier cities and second-tier cities and creative cities contexts. The business model canvas (BMC) framework was adapted and used as a primary theoretical guideline with specific attention to digital transformation and location. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through 1) 16 interviews with vintage shop owners, marketers, and neighborhood managers, 2) field research on the online and physical presences of vintage stores and neighborhoods, and 3) policy documents, business databases, and academic literature. This thesis also identifies two vintage neighborhoods, The 9 Streets in Amsterdam and the Zwaanshalskwartier in Rotterdam, followed by an analysis revealing the development patterns of vintage clothing retailing in their urban contexts. This thesis argues that Amsterdam’s “first city bonus” as a creative and vintage city has allowed it to have a long history and a more significant current presence of vintage clothing retailing. In contrast, as a second-tier city, Rotterdam must invent itself as creative and vintage and be late in developing vintage clothing retailing. This bonus also exists in digital marketing regardless of the availability of digital platforms that allow vintage clothing retailers to overcome location constraints. While the findings of this research are specific to the Dutch context, they have provided a valuable framework in comparing the vintage clothing sector between first-tier and second-tier cities in other national contexts.

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Laar, P. van de
Global Markets, Local Creativities (GLOCAL)
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Zhang, Yichao. (2021, August 5). Vintage Clothing Retail Business Models in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Global Markets, Local Creativities (GLOCAL). Retrieved from