Broadcasters in the Netherlands are suddenly struggling under a hoard of canceled advertising campaigns. Many sectors have stopped advertising due to the coronavirus, resulting in TV channels losing out on millions of euros. The virus is also affecting the recording of new programs, NOS reports.
After Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced new measures against coronavirus Covid-19 on Thursday, people in the Netherlands seemed to start hoarding toilet paper and non-perishables. Social media is full of pictures showing empty shelves in Dutch supermarkets. But according to the supermarkets themselves, the problems are not so bad.
A 38-year-old man was sentenced to six weeks in jail this week for striking a 10-year-old boy outside a grocery store in Dordrecht. The boy had asked the man for his collectible football stickers being given away as a store promotion when the violent incident occurred.
The boy was waiting outside of the Albert Heijn in the Stadspolder district on February 12th, asking many of the store's customers for the packets of stickers. The offender snapped, struck the boy, and then shoved him. He was arrested after store employees identified him to police.
The coronavirus outbreak in China is expected to push the prices of garlic and ginger. China is the world's largest exporter of these aromatics, responsible for 80 percent of all garlic in the world. In the Netherlands, 75 percent of all ginger and 66 percent of all garlic comes from China, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands. And the doors of the Chinese warehouses full of garlic bulbs and ginger roots have been closed for weeks, NOS reports.
The court in Noord-Holland on Friday sentenced a 23-year-old man to two years in prison, one of which conditionally suspended, for attempting to extort Albert Heijn's parent company Ahold by threatening to poison the supermarket chain's customers. The man will also be on probation for three years, the court said in a ruling issued Friday.
Explosives were used on an ATM inside an Albert Heijn grocery store on the Osdorpplein in Amsterdam as part of an attempted robbery early Tuesday morning. Shortly after, two teens were caught in Utrecht, suspected of trying to blast open a cash machine in a Plus supermarket.
Police said the suspects used a stolen Fiat Panda to smash into the Amsterdam West building at about 3 a.m. before attempting to blow the cash machine open. No money was taken, according to a statement from police.
Animal rights organization Wakker Dier is calling on those considering quail for Christmas dinner to rather reconsider, or at least avoid buying these game birds at Albert Heijn and Jumbo. The two Dutch supermarket chains are selling quail without an animal welfare quality mark this year, the organization said.
An Albert Heijn store in Den Bosch created its own version of an artwork, which consisted of a banana stuck to a wall with duct tape. But where the artwork by Maurizio Cattelan recently sold for 120 thousand euros, the Albert Heijn version is discounted to only 0.28 cents.
The recreated work in the Albert Heijn store on De Arena was thought up by manager Ron Soeters. He loved the Italian artist's idea, he said to BN De Stem. "It's wonderful to see that such a simple banana impresses people so much."
Albert Heijn's experimental automated and cashless store is now standing at Schiphol. For the next two months, Schiphol visitors can "experience the speed and convenience of shopping without a cash register", the supermarket chain said.
Food watchdog Foodwatch opened voting for its annual most misleading product of the year election - the so-called Gouden Windei award. This year there are eight nominees, including Lipton Matcha iced tea, which contains nearly no matcha tea, and two from Albert Heijn - goat's milk cheese spread that is made mostly of cow's milk, and seasonal vegetables it imports from the other side of the world.
Supermarket concern Ahold Delhaize, parent of Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn, is stepping up the fight against food waste. Where the company previously aimed to reduce its food waste by 20 percent in 2020, it now increased its target to 50 percent less wasted food by 2030, the Telegraaf reports.
Ahold Delhaize joined a global initiative by retail chains to tackle food waste, launched at the United Nations climate summit in New York this week.
More and more Dutch are buying their groceries and tools for home projects online. Web stores like Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Picnic are seeing their turnover grow with double digits every year, and DIY stores are also showing impressive growth, according to the Twinkle 100, a ranking of the 100 most popular online sellers based on turnover, NOS reports.
Albert Heijn was awarded the Liar, Liar Award for 2019 by animal rights group Wakker Dier. According to the organization, the packaging of Albert Heijn's chicken states that the animals have "more space", but in reality 16 chickens live per square meter, without daylight.
On Thursday Albert Heijn is launching an experiment with a store with no cash registers. The store's door opens when you scan your debit card, and checkout is automatic when you leave - with no need to register for the service, scan products or download an app, NOS reports.
The Dutch supermarket chain is the first in Europe to test such a system in practice. The experiment will happen at the AH head office in Zaandam, only with Albert Heijn employees. Later this year, the small experimental store will move to another location where regular customers can test it.
Albert Heijn is testing its first delivery robot on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven from Monday. Students and staff can order products from the Albert Heijn To Go on campus through an app, after which the robot will deliver it. This first experiment will last until next week Friday, RTL Nieuws reports.
The delivery robot is not completely automated - Albert Heijn employees have to load the ordered items in the robot manually, and the recipient has to take them out. But the robot will find the delivery location by itself.
Albert Heijn supermarkets are again experiencing major payment problems on Tuesday morning. A technical issue with the regular cash registers means that customers can currently only pay for their groceries via the self-scanner, a spokesperson said to NOS.
Only about half of the Albert Heijn branches in the Netherlands are equipped with self-scanners. Payments are currently impossible at the other branches, according to the broadcaster.
A malfunction with the payment terminals at Ahold stores has been resolved, the company reported on Tuesday morning. The malfunction left customers of Albert Heijn, Etos, and Gall & Gall unable to pay with their debit cards on Monday afternoon, ANP reports.
Supermarket chain Albert Heijn plans to step up its fight against food waste with a new system called "dynamic discounts". This involves an electronic price tag that gives customers a bigger and bigger discount the closer a product comes to its sell-by date, NOS reports.
Over the past year, Albert Heijn threw away 1 percent of unsold products because they exceeded their expiry date. That amounts to 63 million kilograms of wasted food. The supermarket chain hopes that the dynamic discounts system can help reduce this.
Good news for Dutch meat lovers who also want to make a more environmentally-friendly choice with their meals. The plant-based Beyond Burger is now available at over 700 Albert Heijn stores in the Netherlands.
Supermarket chain Albert Heijn will start offering hot meal delivery from Friday - the first Dutch supermarket to do so. Initially Albert Heijn will only deliver freshly made meals in a certain area in Amsterdam. Deliveries will be handled by Thuisbezorgd.nl and Deliveroo, NU.nl reports.
"We see an increasing demand among our customers for good meals, like you would make yourself, without having to go into the kitchen", said Marit van Egmond, Albert Heijn's director of commerce. The company described this as the next step in food service.
Grocery store chain Albert Heijn is converting two AH To Go minimarts into totally cashless locations. The staffed cash registers at the two AMC hospital shops will disappear from Monday.
While more traditional payment methods will remain at the AH To Go stores for the time being, they are introducing an innovation to the public that allows customers to tap their phones against the products. The charges will take about ten minutes to be processed. So far, Albert Heijn is only supporting Android phones, but plans to expand this to iOS and Windows.
A 23-year-old woman was arrested at an Albert Heijn store in Eindhoven on Sunday morning. She is suspected of stabbing a colleague in the leg at the store, De Stentor reports.
The woman was arrested around 9:10 a.m. at the AH XL. She stabbed her 44-year-old colleague earlier in the morning. The victim was taken to hospital.
Why the woman attacked her colleague is not yet clear. The police are investigating.
Animal welfare organization Wakker Dier announced the five nominees for its "liar liar" award for 2018 - an annual online election the organization holds to draw attention to companies deceptions about animal welfare. This year's nominees are Jumbo, Campina, Rabobank, ECOstyle and last year's winner Albert Heijn.