Albert Heijn

Albert Heijn is the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands with a market share of 34.8% in 2020. It was founded in 1887 and is part of Ahold Delhaize since 2016.[2]

Albert Heijn
FoundedOostzaan, Netherlands (27 May 1887 (1887-05-27))
FounderAlbert Heijn
Number of locations

  • 996 in the Netherlands
    • 826 AH
    • 133 AH To Go
    • 37 AH XL
  • 60 in Belgium
Area served
Key people
Marit van Egmond (CEO)
Albert Heijn Jr. (Founder of Ahold)
ProductsSupermarkets, Convenience stores, Small hypermarkets
Number of employees
ParentAhold Delhaize


The chain was founded on 27 May 1887 when Albert Heijn bought a grocery store from his father Jan Heijn in Oostzaan. In the following years, Heijn opened other locations in several cities and in 1899 he opened a central warehouse in Zaandam.[3]

From 1895, Heijn started roasting his own brand of coffee in a laundry room in his Oostzaan location and in 1910 several other self-produced items were added, including confectionary, cakes and pastry. Until 1913 these products were produced in an old town house in Zaandam, but the company built a professional factory on this spot in 1913.[4]

In 1920 all enterprises were combined in the Maatschappij tot Exploitatie der Fabrieken en Handelszaken. Anton Jurgens, one of the founders of Unilever, took a 50% share within the new company. These shares were bought back by the family Heijn in 1927. On 29 April 1920, Albert Heijn transferred control of the company to his sons Gerrit Heijn and Jan Heijn, and his son-in-law Johan Hille. Albert Heijn stayed on as president of the board.[3]

The chain went public in 1948 and underwent two major changes in the 1950s. The first change was in 1952 with the introduction of their first self-service store and the second change was in 1955 with the opening of their first supermarket.[5]

The chain could become the largest within the Netherlands via several acquisitions. Notable (partial) acquisitions were Van Amerongen (1950), Simon de Wit (1972) and C1000 (2008 and parts in 2012).[3][6]

In 2007 the company crossed the ocean with the opening of a franchise store in Curaçao, this shop remained open until 2016 when it was changed to a different brand. The company entered the Belgian market in 2011 with the opening of a store in Brasschaat. Despite the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, Albert Heijn remained active in Belgium and currently has 60 stores. After Curaçao and Belgium the company entered the German market with their AH To Go formula. This venture ended in 2018.[7][8]


Albert HeijnEdit

Albert Heijn in Lier

This formula is most used throughout the Netherlands and Belgium and is their regular store format. Since 2018 the company began to rollout the concept Echt Vers in which the stores would be remodelled to offer 10-15% more fresh produce.[9]

AH To GoEdit

AH To Go at the Leeuwarden train station

In 1999 the chain developed a new formula for a convenience store on request of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the railway company would become a franchisee and opened the first store on Station 's-Hertogenbosch. The formula got its current name in 2001 and specialises in products that customers need on their commute.[10]

Since 2019 the company is testing a new version of the formule without staff and cash registers. The customer scans their debit card and cameras register the customer and the items that are picked, after the customer leaves the right amount is deducted from their account. The new concept and technology was tested in a mobile unit that has been placed at the headquarters of Ahold Delhaize and Schiphol.[11]


Since 2002 the company operates several hypermarkets with a larger variety of products in both food and non-food. Within the store there are also several chefs preparing take-away.

Albert Heijn OnlineEdit

The company started testing delivery in 1999 with the Albert Hein Thuisservice, which was renamed in 2001. Via this channel customers could purchase their groceries, but also products from sister-companies Etos and Gall & Gall. The Albert brand was discontinued in 2014 and the delivery service was integrated in the Albert Heijn brand.[12]

Former Albert Heijn logo (1965–2006)


Since 1899 the chain is headquartered in Zaandam, their parent company is also located here. The chain operates six distribution centres in Nieuwegein, Geldermalsen, Zaandam, Tilburg, Pijnacker and Zwolle. It also operates seven "Home Shop Centers" in Almere, Eindhoven, Rotterdam, De Meern, Amsterdam, Oosterhout and Bleiswijk.


  • From 1927 the chain was allowed to call itself Purveyor to the Royal Household. In addition, Ahold was awarded the Royal Predicate in 1987, due to the 100th anniversary of Albert Heijn. King Willem-Alexander granted permission in 2016 that the merged company Ahold Delhaize could also continue to use the predicate.[13]
  • The current Albert Heijn logo has existed since 1965 and is a design by James Pilditch and John Harris of agency AID. The logo has been enclosed with a blue house since 2003.[14]
  • The company introduced the Bonuskaart in 1998, which gave cardholders a discount on selected products. The program was changed in 2013 and with their new card customers could also receive a personal discount.[15][16]
  • In 2007 the supermarket founded the Albert Heijn Foundation together with suppliers of fresh produce. It mainly invests in local projects in the field of housing, education and health. The AH Foundation works closely with ICCO and FairMatch Support to select and realize projects in areas such as water supplies and education.
  • Albert Heijn has never accepted payment by credit card. The only card it accepts is Maestro. Cash payments are also possible, although not at every register.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Feiten en cijfers". Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Marktaandelen supermarkten 2020: fullservice wint van prijsvechters". (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Gerssen, Martin. "De geschiedenis van onze winkels". Stichting Albert Heijn Erfgoed (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Geschiedenis in detail | Albert Heijn". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Hoe werd Albert Heijn de grootste supermarktketen van Nederland?". NPO Kennis (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  6. ^ BELGERS, JORIS (28 April 2012). "Ahold lachende derde bij fusie Jumbo en C1000". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Albert Heijn begint 16 maart in België". Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Albert Heijn stopt met AH to go in Duitsland". NU (in Dutch). 13 December 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Albert Heijn gaat vers anders aanpakken - dit zijn 5 dingen die je zult merken in de supermarkt". Business Insider Nederland (in Dutch). 13 June 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  10. ^ "1 miljoen klanten per week: AH to go bestaat 20 jaar". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 15 November 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  11. ^ Stil, Herman (25 November 2019). "Albert Heijn opent eerste robotsupermarkt op Schiphol". Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  12. ^ Eilander, Elsbeth (17 February 2014). "Albert Heijn stopt met merk". Adformatie (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  13. ^ Redactie (29 February 2016). "Ahold Delhaize wordt 'koninklijk' na fusie". Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Logo Albert Heijn 1965". (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Albert Heijn komt met bonuskaart voor klanten". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). 9 February 1998. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  16. ^ "AH introduceert nieuwe bonuskaart". RetailNews (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 February 2021.

External linksEdit