HEMA (store)

HEMA (Dutch pronunciation: [ɦeːmaː]; originally an acronym for Hollandsche Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam, "Hollandic Standard Prices Company Amsterdam"), is a Dutch variety store-chain. It began operations as a variety store. The chain is characterized by relatively low pricing of generic household goods, which are mostly made by and for the chain itself, often with an original design. The current owner is Dutch billionaire Marcel Boekhoorn, but he has lost control to bondholders.[1]

Native name
Hollandsche Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam
FoundedAmsterdam, Netherlands (1926 (1926))
Area served
United Arab Emirates
Key people
Saskia Egas Reparaz
photo service
and other
OwnerRamphastos Investments


The first HEMA opened in Amsterdam on 4 November 1926, set up by the owners of the luxury department store De Bijenkorf. Originally, as a price-point retailer at prime locations in town centres, 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 World War II, a number of Jewish employees (there was a relatively high number because of the Jewish roots of the company) were murdered by the Nazis. This is commemorated every year 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.

In June 2007 Lion Capital bought the chain from Maxeda. In 2010, standard pricing was reintroduced.[2] In 2015, HEMA was the most indispensable brand in the Netherlands for the 8th time running.[3][4]

In 2020, HEMA's proprietors placed the potential sale of the business on their agenda. An investment company based in Miami, Florida (Flacks Group) and a consortium led by Amsterdam-based private equity firm Parcom Capital displayed the greatest interest in acquiring the chain.[1] Exclusive negotiations with a 50/50 consortium of the Van Eerd Group and Parcom Capital commenced in October 2020. This was expected to put a stop to activities outside Europe.[5]


Inside a HEMA store

HEMA has also expanded into other countries since the 1990s.

HEMA branches by country:

Country Number of stores Since
  Netherlands 545 (2018) 1926
  Austria 5[6] (2019) 2018
  Belgium 98[7](2020) 1984
  France 70[8] (2020) 2009
  Germany 20[9] (2020) 2002
  Luxembourg 4[10] (2016) 2006
  Qatar 3[6] (2019) 2018
  Spain 8[11] (2020) 2014
  United Arab Emirates 7[12] (2020) 2018
  Mexico 11[13] (2020) 2020

Since 2009 HEMA has opened small versions of their stores in railway stations, at 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. HEMA opened its 700th store on 14 December 2015 at Central Station in Utrecht. It is also the tenth store of the retail chain on a Dutch railway station.

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. The first British store opened in the Victoria Place shopping centre, above Victoria station, in London on 12 June 2014, and six more followed, but by the summer of 2021, all had been closed.[14]


  1. ^ a b Linsell, Katie; Proper, Ellen (20 August 2020). "Iconic Dutch Retailer Hema Files for Chapter 15 Bankruptcy". bloombergquint.com. BloombergQuint. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  2. ^ "HEMA's verhaal" (PDF). hema.nl (in Dutch). HEMA. January 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Onmisbare Merken". eurib.net (in Dutch). EURIB. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  4. ^ BNR Webredactie (28 September 2017). "HEMA: 'iedereen behoudt baan bij verkoop'". bnr.nl (in Dutch). BNR Newsradio. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  5. ^ "Hema via U-bocht richting Jumbo". 16 October 2020.
  6. ^ a b Schelfaut, Sanne (18 September 2019). "Hoe Hema in Dubai (zonder worst) bouwt aan een wereldmerk". ad.nl (in Dutch). AD. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Sélectionnez un magasin HEMA". hema.com. HEMA. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Sélectionnez un magasin HEMA". hema.com (in French). HEMA. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Wählen Sie eine HEMA-Filiale". hema.com (in German). HEMA. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Luxembourg - HEMA". hema.be (in French). HEMA. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  11. ^ "Tiendas de España". hemashop.com. HEMA. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  12. ^ "HEMA". appareluae.com. Apparel Group. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  13. ^ "HEMA Mexico". hemamx.com. HEMA. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  14. ^ "HEMA closing in the UK". Retrieved 1 December 2021.

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