Ahold, the international food retailer and foodservice operator, today announced the opening of a new, extra-large store format in the Dutch market known as Albert Heijn XL. News of this innovative supermarket type follows the introduction earlier this week of Albert Heijn?s convenience store format, AH to go, at Esso gasoline stations in The Netherlands, targeting the mobile customer.
Albert Heijn XL
The larger store has a sales area of approximately 4,000 sq.m. (40,000 sq.ft.) and is almost three times the size of a conventional Albert Heijn supermarket. Albert Heijn XL stocks more fresh products, general merchandise and home entertainment than the traditional neighborhood store. Various ready-to-eat departments make the extra-large supermarket especially appealing to modern families. A children?s play area, a photo developing service counter, an internet cafÃ© and a juice bar are all additional service elements that characterize the new store, which opened today in Arnhem in the eastern Netherlands. Ahold intends to open 50 Albert Heijn XL stores between now and 2010, responding to customer demand for a store that caters to their weekly, one-stop shopping requirements.
AH to go
The new C-store format at Albert Heijn has already been introduced in busy shopping streets, hospitals and railway stations. Last Tuesday, the first AH to go opened at an Esso gas station at Bussum in the central Netherlands. The store offers a select range of food and drink products for consumption either on-the-spot or later at home. Approximately 10 AH to go stores are scheduled to open in The Netherlands this year.
Albert Heijn and Ahold
Albert Heijn is Ahold?s flagship Dutch supermarket company with annualized sales of approximately Euro 5.5 billion. With 679 supermarkets, Albert Heijn is the leading Dutch food retailer. The chain operates four formats: the conventional Albert Heijn supermarket, the extra-large Albert Heijn XL supermarket, the AH to go convenience store and the internet-based home delivery service albert.nl.
Worldwide, Ahold operates approximately 9,000 supermarkets, hypermarkets and convenience stores and rapidly-growing foodservice activities. The company serves 40 million customers in 28 countries every week with 2001 consolidated net sales of Euro 66.6 billion.