Ahold Introduces New Albert Heijn Formats in The Netherlands

ZAANDAM, The Netherlands - Ahold, the international food retailer and foodservice operator, today announced the opening of a new, extra-large store format in the Dutch market known as Albert Heijn XL.

News of this format follows the introduction earlier this week of Albert Heijn's convenience store format, AH to go, at Esso gasoline stations in The Netherlands, targeting the mobile customer.

The Albert Heijn XL format has a sales area of approximately 4,000 square meters (40,000 square feet) and is almost three times the size of a conventional Albert Heijn supermarket. Albert Heijn XL stocks more fresh products, general merchandise and home entertainment than the traditional neighborhood store. Other features include various ready-to-eat departments, a children's play area, a photo developing service counter, an Internet cafe and a juice bar. Ahold says it intends to open 50 Albert Heijn XL stores between now and 2010.

The AH to Go C-store format at Albert Heijn has already been introduced in busy shopping streets, hospitals and railway stations. Last Tuesday, the first AH to go opened at an Esso gas station at Bussum in the central Netherlands. The store offers a select range of food and drink products for consumption either on the spot or later at home. Approximately 10 AH to go stores are scheduled to open in The Netherlands this year.

Albert Heijn is Ahold's flagship Dutch supermarket company with annualized sales of approximately Euro 5.5 billion. With 679 supermarkets, Albert Heijn is the leading Dutch food retailer. The chain operates four formats: the conventional Albert Heijn supermarket, the extra-large Albert Heijn XL supermarket, the AH to go convenience store and the Internet-based home delivery service albert.nl.
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