HEMA (store)

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Native name
Hollandsche Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam
Founded Amsterdam, Netherlands (1926 (1926))
Number of locations
Services Furnishings
photo Service
and other
Owner Lion Capital LLP

HEMA Dutch pronunciation: [ɦeːmaː] (originally an acronym for Hollandsche Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam, "Hollandic Standard Prices Company Amsterdam") is a Dutch discount retail chain that started life as a dimestore. Hema is owned by the British investment firm Lion Capital LLP since 2007. The chain is characterized by relatively low pricing of generic housewares, which are mostly made by and for the chain itself, often with original design.


The first HEMA opened in Amsterdam on 4 November 1926, set up by the Jewish owners of the luxury department store De Bijenkorf. Originally, as a price-point retailer at prime locations in town centers, goods were sold using standard prices (hence its name), with everything having a Standard price of 10, 25 or 50 cents, and later also 75 and 100 cents. The relative economic boom in the Netherlands in the period 1900-1930 benefited HEMA.[citation needed]

During WWII, a number of Jewish employees (there were a relatively high number because of the Jewish roots of the company) were murdered by the Nazis, which is remembered yearly by laying a wreath on 4 May, the Dutch Remembrance of the Dead, at the head office.

After World War II, this model could not be sustained and the standard pricing system was abandoned. But a period of rapid expansion followed: now almost every town of any importance in the Netherlands has a HEMA. Locations carry a wide variety of goods, including clothing, food, bicycle equipment, gardening tools, and office supplies. Lion Capital bougt the chain from Maxeda. In 2010, standard pricing was reintroduced.[1]


HEMA in Zandvoort, Netherlands

HEMA prides itself in developing much of its products itself, including food and books. On its website HEMA says it develops all its products itself.[2] The website also stresses that the total offer is concentrated on daily necessities.

Some well-known HEMA products in the Netherlands are:


HEMA has chosen a no-nonsense formula with strong house-branding. Quality standards are relatively high. HEMA organizes their own yearly design-contests.[4]

HEMA was the company to introduce franchising in the Netherlands.[citation needed]


Inside a HEMA store

Since the 1990s, HEMA has also expanded into neighbouring countries.

HEMA branches by country (2015):

Country Shops Since
 Netherlands 530 (in 2014) 1926
 Belgium 98 (in 2014) 1984
 Germany 10[5] 2002
 Luxembourg 4[6] 2006
 France 41[7] 2009
 Spain 2[8] 2014
 United Kingdom 5[9] 2014

Since 2009 HEMA has opened small versions of their stores in railway stations, Schiphol Airport and in small villages in the Netherlands, as well as their first mini market.

HEMA employed in excess of 10,000 workers at over 500 stores by March 2011.

On 4 January 2014, HEMA's CEO Ronald van Zetten announced that it would branch out to Spain and the UK opening the first stores within six months as well further expanding in France. The first Spanish store opened on 3 April on Calle Fuencarral in Madrid, and the first British store will be open in the Victoria Place shopping centre, next Victoria station in London on 12 June.[10]


In 2010, the Belgian HEMA store in Genk first allowed, then barred a Muslim girl from working with customers wearing a head scarf. In a press release, the store's management said avoiding political or religious statements and keeping a strictly neutral course would be policy from then on.[11] This was applauded by Belgian politician Filip Dewinter.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ "HEMA ontwerpwedstrijd 2013". Hemaontwerpwedstrijd.nl. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  5. ^ "HEMA Filialen". Hemashop.com. Retrieved April 2015. 
  6. ^ "luxembourg - HEMA". Hema.be. Retrieved April 2015. 
  7. ^ "tous les magasins - HEMA". Hema.fr. Retrieved June 2015. 
  8. ^ "tiendas de España". Hemashop.com. Retrieved April 2015. 
  9. ^ "our stores". Hemashop.com. Retrieved April 2015. 
  10. ^ Susie Mesure. "Hema arrives in Britain: A trip to the shop will soon mean going Dutch". The Independent. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  11. ^ [4]

External links[edit]