|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.
In 1952, Albert Heijn initiated the self-service store. For the first time, the customer were not served one by one but could pick their products by themselves.
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 back at a normal level again.
Albert Heijn's market share is currently around 30%. The company's current logo consists of a stylized "ah" in white, surrounded by a blue background.
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 to uphold the image of a no-nonsense, low-price brand. AH Basic was introduced in 2013 to replace the Euroshopper brand, which has since been phased out.
Prices can be further discounted by using a customer discount card (Dutch: "Bonuskaart"), 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 customer's personal profile. When entering the bar code number on the Albert Heijn website, one receives offers based on the products one bought earlier using the card. After its introduction, several consumer organisations expressed their worries regarding people's privacy, as Albert Heijn clearly keeps track of consumers' buying behaviour. The Bonuskaart can also be used to obtain Air Miles.
Types of stores
- 832 regular Albert Heijn stores, ranging in categories 1 (small) to 5 (very large); most 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 01.00. There are also some AH To Go stores in Germany, e.g. in Cologne, Duisburg, and Essen.
- Albert Heijn XL, hypermarkets located in several Dutch cities.
- AH.nl (formerly Albert.nl), a web-based home delivery service offering all Albert Heijn products and those of other Ahold companies, such as Etos and Gall & Gall.
Albert Heijn (1865–1945) was the original founder of Albert Heijn stores, which is now 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albert Heijn.|