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Albert Heijn vs Jumbo: Dutch supermarkets compete online in different ways

Albert Heijn and Jumbo are the biggest supermarket chains in the Netherlands, both offline and online. With ecommerce, Albert Heijn is the market leader for many years now, but according to Jumbo, that might change within the next five years. But the companies compete online in different ways.

Albert Heijn was one of the first supermarkets in the Netherlands that made it possible for consumers to order their groceries while they were at home. Already in 1987, Albert Heijn’s parent company Ahold experimented with delivering groceries at home after consumers ordered their goods per phone or fax. In 2001, the supermarket chain started its online store, which became the most popular online supermarket in the Netherlands for years.

Jumbo, a family-owned supermarket chain that was founded in 1979, became big in the Netherlands after several acquisitions (Super de Boer, C1000) and is now the second-largest supermarket chain. It’s competing heavily with Albert Heijn, both offline and online. But Jumbo is trying to win market share in a different way.

Jumbo: 300th pick up points opened

Last week, the supermarket opened its 300th pick up point in the Netherlands, quickly following one after another. The 100th pick up point opened in August 2015 and the 200th was opened in March last year. Jumbo expects to have at least 350 pick up points in the Netherlands at the end of this year.

Albert Heijn: just 58 pick up points

Meanwhile, Albert Heijn currently has 58 pick up points spread across the Netherlands, which is just 14 more than it had eighteen months ago. Even though Albert Heijn has far more supermarkets than Jumbo (900 versus 580). But whereas Jumbo is betting on consumers picking up their groceries (after work), Albert Heijn believes strongly in getting foods and drinks to the consumers’ homes.

‘AH consumers are more interested in home delivery’

“We’ve noticed some pick up points performed very well, while others didn’t”, ‎Selma Postma, general manager AH Online at Ahold, tells Dutch newspaper NRC. “We will keep opening new pick up points, but less than we initially thought. We’ve also closed some underperforming pick up points”, she explains. According to her, Albert Heijn consumers are just more interested in home delivery.

Different methods of home delivery

Albert Heijn is still the market leader in the Netherlands, but if it’s up to Jumbo, this might change the next few years. The supermarket wants to be bigger than Albert Heijn within the next five years. Jumbo will try to achieve this with their many pick up points. But it also introduced a delivery service last year. Also with this, the company operates differently compared with Albert Heijn. Albert Heijn has three warehouses spread across the country from which it delivers groceries to the consumers’ homes, while Jumbo will first send the orders from the e-fulfilmentcenter in the southern part of the country to a supermarket or pick up point near the customer’s home, after which it will go to the customer.

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