Albert Heijn B.V. is the largest Dutch supermarket chain founded in 1887 in Oostzaan, Netherlands. It is named after Albert Heijn, Sr., the founder of the first store in Oostzaan.
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 customers 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. In August 2018, Albert Heijn launched in-store counter for vegan food.
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.
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