AH franchise owners defy Zwarte Piet mandate

. ()

Several of the Albert Heijn franchise owners have decided to defy the supermarket chain's national policy to remove Zwarte Piet from advertisements.

Franchise owner Schuytgraaf from Arnhem stated of Facebook that Zwarte Piet will be found in his store in Elst during the coming months. This status update received more than 2 thousand likes. "On 5 December Zwarte Piet will be walking through the store as usual," he says.

As far as franchiser Hans Geveling is concerned, nothing will change in Albert Heijn stores in Huissen, Bemmel, Gendt and Druten.

The Albert Heijn branch in Schooten Plaza, Den Helder, will keep Zwarte Piet alive. In a statement to its customers, the store says that all opinions are respected, but "in our store we will participate as usual in the feast of feasts".

"In our stores management has decided to continue the tradition as usual this year, which is known to each of us from childhood." Albert Heijn van der Poel in Sint Willebrord announced on Facebook. This status received more than a thousand likes.

On Thursday Albert Heijn head office announced that Zwarte Piet will be removed from advertising in stores.