Sunday, March 26, 2006

Shopping in Albert Heijn in Amsterdam

I am in Amsterdam for few days and yes, I am going to meet with my colleagues Behind the Bars and we'll hopefully have few drinks.

Talking about drinks, I went to Albert Heijn to get some wine and mixed nuts ( I really did not want to spend 4 Euros in Marriott for cashews where I can get it for 1.99 Euros ) My total was 8.98 and gave 9.00 and the cashier did not return any money back and started working on next customer's order. I am not in the 2 cents but it's customers decision if they want to leave the 2 cents with the company. I asked for my two cents while she started scanning the next customer's order and she checked with another cashier for there was a request "out of the regular". After 1 or 2 minutes she gave me my 2 cents. Now it was the time for me to find a bag to put my bottle and nuts. I might be wrong but I think they charge for the good plastic bags for she told me that I can use for free ones that they have in the checkout which I would not trust that it would hold my wine bottle. Why would you charge for a bag? My local market in Avenue B which is a family business and no close to Albert Heijn in terms of revenue does not charge me. I don't wonder why Albert Heijn is loosing market share...


J said...

Most supermarkets in Europe charge for the bigger, nicer bags. Maybe it's an environmentally-friendly thing, or maybe they just want the extra 5 cents. It's odd that they didn't give your change back, though!

Anonymous said...

This is a Dutch custom which I understand must appear somewhat strange to foreginers, but it does work both ways.

If your bill comes to 9.03 EUR, they'll typically want 9 EUR from you, and waive the 3 cents. Yes, in most other countries they would have just given you the 2 cents change, but Holland is *not* most other countries. I'd like to argue they do this to speed up the processing of each customer, but that would hardly be a truthful statement!

On a slightly related topic, this posting is an interesting example suggesting that Albert Heijn is extremely expensive compared with its counterpart supermarkets in the UK. Actually, i'm surprised your cashews alone were not more expensive in Albert Heijn than in the Marriot!

Albert Heijn 34 per cent more expensive than UK chain Tesco

This takes a look at a weekly shop, and concludes Tesco is 34 per cent cheaper *overall* than Dutch chain Albert Heijn. It's a good read, with some surprising results!