Archive for February, 2010

10
Feb
10

AH in The Hague (post from a reader)

It’s the same story here in The Hague.

AH is far too dominant. You have to travel to another part of the city in order to find an alternative. Now if AH had a wide selection of products and good customer service, that wouldn’t be such a problem. But as it is, it’s simply terrible. The personnel is rude and incompetent, the floors on the produce section are dirty and present a serious risk of slipping, primarily they sell their own brand, which is of poor quality, but is packaged to look almost exactly alike the A-brand products… which are usually sold out. Unilever even sued them for trademark violations, but inexplicably lost the case on 9 of the 11 counts, although the judge did rule that AH acted on the very edge of what is permissible. And that perfectly sums up AH. Their way of doing business borders on illegality and immorality.

Personally I avoid them whenever I can. I do make the effort to travel for miles to reach an alternative. But for a lot of people that’s simply not an option. A few years ago it was actually better, when we had the Konmar as an alternative. Of course when they closed up shop, it was AH that took over their stores. A move that should never have been approved by the competition authority, but alas in their ‘investigation’ they considered the likes of Lidl and Aldi as viable alternatives to AH. I would assume they also consider an apple to be a viable alternative to an orange. AH apples and oranges of course. 😉

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10
Feb
10

Some AH photos from a reader

Some shots I took in my local Appie a while back. Sent the whole batch to Ahold HQ. Their anwser: please contact your local shop manager.

10
Feb
10

AH Rotterdam Zuidplein

09
Feb
10

Today I went to a new AH store…

Bread anyone??

Here’s where the roastbeef should have been…

I wanted to buy some tuna for my pasta, but nope not today.

This is for real!! This is what i saw in the butter counter. 

And the usual unpacking process, forcing customers to navigate around the store. 

09
Feb
10

AH in Spijkenisse (post from a reader)

Hey,

After reading on your site I had the urge to also write something small to you.

I live in Spijkenisse, Zuid-Holland, we have a AH at the shopping centre called “’t Plateau” it’s not too big but it’s convenient. A couple of year ago, like 5 if I remember correctly the management changed from a franchise to a Ahold (AH’s holding) owned store. Since then the quality of the store started to deteriorate…

At the moment me and my friends call this AH, Albert Heijn Russia, because I really feel like I landed in communistic Soviet Union when I walk in to that store. When there’s something in the shelves it’s only on or 2 items and overtime less and less different products are available at the store.

The fresh bread is gone somewhere early in the afternoon and for something fresh on your sandwich you have to get it sliced fresh at the counter because for example the roast beef is brown instead of red. Also basic stuff from major brands simply isn’t there, the cola is almost always gone, the good brands pizza are never stocked and products of major brands they carried in the past are disappearing without a trace. Last summer they didn’t have Ice thee in stock for over a month and even after complaining they didn’t order extra or anything. The veggies or any fresh stuff looks dead before it arrives there so I will never buy that again…

What did I do about it, I talked to the staff, I talked to the management and to AH customer service, they all promised me that it will be better but I don’t think that will happen and I always feel like a dick when complaining.

Nowadays, when I want to do big/weekend shopping I drive to a Jumbo like 20 minutes away instead of the AH only a minute away.

Best of luck

09
Feb
10

AH in Utrecht (post from a reader)

It was about 10 years ago when shopping at AH was a good thing.

AH had good quality products and everything was fresh and clean. Albert Heijn was synonymus to excellent quality. Nowadays, i often see products over date, mostly at the fresh meat department.

For example, i warned a shopgirl at AH Utrecht that the filet americain was 2 days over date: And the same rotting filet americain still stood there in the meat counter when i came in the next day. It had turned from red to dark-brown but they obviously hadn’t notice that. How hard can it be to check the goods you sell..

Vegetables are also often old. All the tomatoes were bruised last weekend @ ah vijzelgracht and the bags with presliced veggies often contain weird fluids.

The sliced cheese packs also often contain moist. I’m not going to eat that! It makes me believe that the shop or the distribution centre doesnt keep the fresh goods well chilled.

I recently went back with a pack of cheese which i bought earlier that week. It was wet inside, it looked awful but the expiration date was more than a month ahead. It took me an awful lot of energy and moaning to get the money back: because the 16 year old poor dutch speaking social project at the service counter figured i might have kept the cheese outside the fridge. Sure, stupid lady…. as if i would do that.

It’s a pity that there are pretty much only Albert Heyn stores in the city centers. When the wather’s not too bad, i rather bike for 15 minutes to get my groceries somewhere else.

09
Feb
10

Albert Heijn’s dominance in Amsterdam

Your site is a great initiative.

AH’s dominance in Amsterdam is a HUGE annoyance. Two years ago I filed a complaint on this matter at the Dutch fair competition authority (NMA), which was turned away for the fact that AH obtained its position in Amsterdam due to ‘good entrepreneurship’. Of course that’s a nonsense argument, but it gives a good insight in how the government deals with it. Change in the Amsterdam supermarkets business will have to come from the bottom-up, and therefore you have my full support!

Kind regards,
Hederik

(edit: please see the comments for the whole reply from NMA, in Dutch)