The largest chain of retail stores selling all sorts of things in the Benelux. Huge halls filled with goods for everyday and not very use (stationery, spare parts for bicycles, paint, wallpaper, kitchen utensils ...). Here you can buy clothes, take out insurance, have a bite to eat. A sort of analogue of "Thousands of Little Things", but with a much wider range. According to statistics, every third man in the Netherlands wears underwear bought from HEMA.
First store HEMA opened November 4, 1926 in the center of Amsterdam. He had a cumbersome name Hollandsche Matschappij Amsterdam, which was soon shortened to modern. Initially, the policy of the store was as follows - various small things were sold with a fixed price - 10, 25, 50 and 75 cents. For example, a cream whisk cost 25 cents. Over time, the range has expanded significantly and this practice had to be abandoned.
| HEMA turns 80|
and the prices are still ridiculously low
Things went so well that a year later the first store opened in another city. A year later there were ten. And ten years later, the country was completely covered with a chain of stores. Since the 1950s HEMA began to work on the basis of franchising. Today, the habitat of this trading network is no longer limited to the territory of the Netherlands - these stores are found in Belgium (since 1997) and Luxembourg (since 2006). Stores are opening in other European countries. In 2010, the “anniversary” five hundredth store was opened HEMA.
The author somehow happened to watch a program where a Dutch couple living on duty abroad (even in Russia, it seems) was interviewed about their life. When the reporter asked a question “what is especially Dutch you most of all lack in a foreign land?”, then received a short answer - "HEMA". A consumer society, they definitely will not miss birch trees.