|Products||Supermarkets, Convenience stores, Small hypermarkets|
Albert Heijn is the oldest organization owned and operated by the Dutch supermarket operator Ahold. The founder of the company (Albert Heijn) was born in 1865. In fact, the name "Ahold" is short for Albert Heijn Holding. The stores are full service markets (as opposed to discounters) known for their focus on quality stores and products. This focus on superior products is part of the reason that Albert Heijn is regarded as one of the more expensive supermarkets in the Netherlands, Belgium and Curaçao. However, after a recent price war - initiated by Albert Heijn itself and involving nearly all Dutch supermarket chains from late 2003 all the way into 2006 - the prices are now at a more normal level.
At the moment, Albert Heijn's market share is around 30%. The company's logo consists of a stylized "ah" beside a white swoosh.
Albert Heijn currently uses three distinct price levels. These include: the 'A-brands', a store brand and a discount brand named AH Basic. The store offers products at a quality near to a-brand products but at a lower price. AH Basic products mostly include commodities with a long shelf life. These products share the same simple packaging art to uphold the image of a no-nonsense, low price brand. AH Basic was introduced in 2013 to replace the Euroshopper brand, which is currently being phased out.
Prices can be further discounted by using a customer discount card, called "Bonuskaart" in Dutch, which Albert Heijn introduced in 1997. This loyalty card can be obtained on credit card size or as a key chain. It features a bar code, linked to the customers personal profile. When entering the bar code number on the Albert Heijn website, one receives offers based on the products earlier bought using this Bonus Card. Already upon introduction, several consumer organisations were worried about peoples privacy, as clearly Albert Heijn keeps track on consumers shopping behaviour. The Bonus Card can also be used for getting Air Miles.
Types of stores
- 832 regular Albert Heijn stores, ranging in categories 1 (small) to 5 (very large); mostly open until 21:00, some until 22:00 or even 24.00.
- AH To Go, 46 convenience stores located in high commuter traffic places such as railway stations, offering ready-to-eat products; usually with extended shopping hours, closing between 22:00 and 1:00. The also operate a few AH To Go stores in Germany e.g. in Cologne, Essen and Duisburg.
- Albert Heijn XL, 30 hypermarkets/bigger supermarkets located in several Dutch cities
- Albert.nl, a web-based home delivery service offering all Albert Heijn products and those of other Ahold companies, such as Gall & Gall and Etos
Albert Heijn (1865–1945) was the original founder of Albert Heijn stores, what now is the largest food retailer in the Netherlands. His grandson, Albert Heijn (1927–2011), was the founder of Ahold. Albert's brother, Gerrit Jan Heijn (1931–1987), also a top manager at Ahold, was kidnapped and murdered in 1987.
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