The ten largest supermarkets chains in the Netherlands include both Dutch and foreign-owned food retailers. The country has seen substantial consolidation over the past decade in the grocery retail sector, which is dominated by a handful of key players…
#1 ALBERT HEIJN – The first Albert Heijn grocery store opened over 130 years ago in Oostzaan, Netherlands, just north of Amsterdam. Today the Albert Heijn supermarket chain consists of more than 825 locations across the country, in one of 3 formats: ‘AH’ – medium-sized locations found in all city centers, ‘AH XL’ – large hypermarkets primarily located in suburban areas and shopping malls and ‘AH to Go’ – small footprint convenience shops found in locations with maximum pedestrian traffic like airports and train stations. Albert Heijn offers home delivery via its online webshop www.AH.nl. As of 2017, Albert Heijn had a base of approximately 6.6 million regular customers in the Netherlands. Albert Heijn’s parent company, AHold Delhaize, is one of the largest food companies in the world and operates supermarket and grocery chains in many countries, including the United States (under the names Stop & Shop and Giant).
#2 JUMBO – The first Jumbo full-service supermarket was opened in Tilburg in 1979 and was purchased by competitor, Van Eerd Groep, a few years later. Through organic expansion and the acquisition of former grocery chain C1000, Jumbo has grown to become the second largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. As of 2017, Jumbo had a base of 5.2 million customers and a total of 580 stores across the country. In 2016, Jumbo bought the popular La Place food catering business, when its former owner, V&D department stores, went bankrupt. La Place food items are available in the Jumbo webshop as are a large selection of international foods and organic products. Orders placed online can be delivered to home or picked up in a store.
#3 LIDL – This German-owned discount food chain has the second largest customer base in the Netherlands, approximately 5.4 million regular shoppers, and the fourth highest store count (415 as of 2017). In addition to brick-and-mortar locations, it also offers an online web shop but only non-food products are sold through it.
#4 ALDI – The German-owned food discounter, Aldi, has expanded significantly in the Netherlands over the past decade and now ranks as the fourth largest retailer in the Dutch food industry. As of 2016, Aldi had a customer base of 4.2 million and operated 510 stores in the Netherlands.
#5 PLUS – This Dutch supermarket chain is the fifth largest food retailer in the Netherlands. As of 2017, Plus operated 260 stores and had a 2.3 million customer base. Plus is a member of the SuperUnie buying cooperative (that also includes Deen, Dirk, Coop, Emte/Sligro and Hoogvliet).
#6 DIRK – The first Dirk van den Broek supermarket opened in Amsterdam in 1953. In 2009 the company merged with competitor Digros to form the parent company Detailresult Groep. In 2014, the Dirk van den Broek, Digros and Bas van de Heijden nameplates were changed to ‘Dirk’. As of 2017, Dirk ranks as the sixth largest food retailer in the Netherlands with approximately 2.0 million customers and 117 stores located throughout the country. Dirk is part of the SuperUnie buying cooperative.
#7 COOP – The first Coop store was opened over 100 years ago in Zaandam, Netherlands (close to Oostzaan, where the very first Albert Heijn store opened a few years earlier). It ranks as the seventh largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands with a customer base of 1.3 million and 260 stores (primarily mid-sized neighborhood grocery shops and convenience food stores). They recently introduced a third larger hypermarket format called SuperCoop. Coop is part of the SuperUnie buying cooperative.
#8 EMTE – The Emte supermarket chain is owned by Sligro Foods, which also operates a chain of member-only wholesale clubs under the Sligro banner. The first Emte supermarket opened in 1965 in Waalwijk and as of 2017, there were 132 Emte stores in the Netherlands, primarily in the province of North Brabant. The chain has a customer base of approximately 1.2 million shoppers. Emte/Sligro is part of the SuperUnie buying cooperative.
#9 HOOGVLIET – This Dutch supermarket chain ranks ninth overall among food retailers in the Netherlands but is penetrated fairly heavily in the province of South Holland (it was founded in the city of Hoogvliet, south of Rotterdam). As of 2017, Hoogvliet operated 67 stores and had 1.1 million regular customers. Hoogvliet is part of the SuperUnie buying cooperative that also includes Plus, Coop, Dirk, Deen and Emte/Sligro.
#10 DEEN – The Deen chain rounds out the top ten largest supermarket retailers in the Netherlands. It was founded in the city of Hoorn in 1933. As of 2017, Deen had a customer base of approximately .8 million and operated 81 stores located primarily in the provinces of North Holland and Flevoland, with just one store each in the provinces of Utrecht (Zeist) and Overijssel (Zwollle). Deen operates an online webshop and is part of the SuperUnie buying cooperative.