LearnDutchOnline.nl is more than just your favourite provider of high quality, affordable Dutch courses. You don’t have to worry about being scammed in Holland, and you’ll always be up-to-date with the LDO Blog. In this article you can read about Dutch companies that will make your life in the Netherlands alot more fun. And actually worthwile (joking!). Without further ado, get started on the Dutch companies every expat should know!
Hema is THE Dutch warehouse/variety store for the whole family. If you haven’t visited it yet, do it now! You’ll find everything you need at ‘de Hema’. From your kids’ school agenda to your partners’ new birthday gift (=’verjaardagscadeau’). Need new bed sheets? Go to Hema. Feeling hungry? Hema has a range of Dutch cookies, cakes, sweets and fresh drinks and juices – often for extremely affordable prices.
The reason everyone loves Hema is the quality, low price tag and service. The stores are (mostly) extremely well structured, so you’ll quickly find your new trousers, lipstick or that lovely retro alarm you saw on their website. Another nice thing about the Hema is the lunchroom. Most Hema’s have one on the second floor. Expect a well-organized space and great, fresh (Dutch) sandwiches and drinks for – again – a very affordable price. Come there with friends and family, for some alone time or even to work. Just make sure to buy at least one coffee or tea. And check if you actually can work at that particular Hema location. Enjoy!
Who doesn’t know this supermarket? Chances are big you never heard of the Appie, if you never visited Holland before and if you just moved here. No worries. The Albert Heijn is the supermarket with the best campaign, and can be found in other countries, too. Not that long ago the Albert Heijn was the store for the upper-middle class and the rich, but after the big European crisis some 15 years ago that all changed. Concepts like Lidl and Aldi completely changed the supermarket game with their low pricing, and the Action gave the Appie a hard time as well.
Luckily, our Albert Heijn survived, and it’s now more and more the supermarket for everyone. And you can actually find almost everything for everyone in most Albert Heijns. They will have special areas during Ramadan, the holy month for muslims, just as they have an extended spot during Christmas and Sinterklaas.
Another great reason to visit this great supermarket is the coffee corner, which offers FREE coffee from their own high-quality ‘Perla’ brand. Take a break during your ‘boodschappen’ and enjoy some real Dutch coffee!
If you live in the ‘Randstad’ (=Amsterdam and surrounding area’s, including Utrecht and Almere) you might have never heard of Philips. Unless you’re a tech nerd or work in tech, of course. Philips is situated in Eindhoven, probably the fastest growing expat city of the Netherlands, in the province of Noord-Brabant. It was the home of the Dutch light bulbs. Nowadays they’re specialized in medical equipment and home appliances.
Bol is the Dutch Amazon: it’s the biggest online store of the Low Lands. They publicly took a stand against the racist blackface character of ‘zwarte piet’ and are well-known by their witty and sharp responses on social media. Bol.com is another great Dutch company for anyone that calls the Netherlands his home, and nothing shows that better than their slogan ‘De winkel van ons allemaal’. Can you guess what it means? 😉
Their service is one of the best, with next-day delivery, a guarantee and a wide range of quality products for every budget. Need a nice gift for a friend? Order it within mere minutes via either the Bol.com app or their website. Need a new vacuum cleaner (=stofzuiger)? Go to Bol.com. Some good books? Or that particular book you were looking for a while already? Bol.com. If you want to have great life in the Netherlands, Bol.com is the way to go.
Coolblue.nl is the Bol.com for all your tech and appliances in and around your house. If you’re looking for a new smartphone, a netbook, ultrabook or washing machine – Coolblue is your best friend. It was the best e-commerce store of the Netherlands in 2019 and 2020 and not without reason. If you order your products before midnight, you get them home-delivered for FREE the next day.
They have their own app, but what’s really unique is the fact they also have 12 REAL stores you can visit. Nowadays Coolblue also has a section for gardening, travelling and fitness. Coolblue Energie is their latest endeavor: a green, fresh power company. Check them out here!
If you drive a car in Holland, you know Shell: the yellow-and-red gas station. Reliable and high quality gas and oil – for over a century. Not many people know Shell originated in England, too, and therefore is a partnership between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – till this very day. The head office resides in the Hague though.
As with alot of great Dutch things, Shell as we know it today is a mix of different cultures and influences. Did you know the red and yellow actually come from the Spanish flag, via the American state of California? However way you spin it, Shell is the biggest Dutch company, and has been for over years now.
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Who doesn’t know Heineken? There is a music hall with their name and their original brewery in Amsterdam can be visited as ‘the Heineken Experience’ currently.
If you aren’t that much of an alcoholic, you still might have heard of the famous kidnapping of Johnny Heineken. Heineken is the second biggest brewery in the world and owns over 200 other beer brands. They have been in business since 1873. You can also try their non-alcoholic variations nowadays, if you do want the taste of beer without altering your mood artificially.
Achmea is the biggest financial company of the Netherlands. Brands belonging to Achmea are Interpolis, Centraal Beheer and Zilveren Kruis – which you probably know, as these are some of the best Dutch insurance companies.
Aegon is big in asset management, pensions and insurance. They’re active on an international level – from the U.S. to Asia – but their main office is in the political capital The Hague.
Whether you love big multinationals and the way they do things or not – Unilever has over 2,5 million people using its products every single day. It’s the biggest Dutch manufacturer of food and (personal) care items.