Dutch retailer Albert Heijn has opened a new Home Shop Centre (HSC) in Utrecht, as it looks to expand its grocery delivery capabilities.
The site consists of more than 21,000 square metres and has received the BREEAM-NL Excellent certification due to its sustainable energy solutions, including solar panels, an energy-efficient cold store, energy-efficient LED lighting, and a heat pump for the climate control system.
According to the retailer, the location offers plenty of room for growth in the business and has the added benefit of expanding the delivery area in Belgium by 250,000 households.
Some 50,000 orders can be processed per week at the Utrecht HSC, which the chain says is much needed as a result of an increase in the number of customers who shop online at Albert Heijn.
The retailer has undertaken a number of steps to improve its environmental footprint, including reducing its CO2 emissions by more than 92% compared to 2018.
It is also seeking to ensure that all home shopping centres and distribution centres, as well as its head office in Zaandam, receive a BREEAM certificate. BREEAM has been the certification method for marking sustainable buildings with a minimal climate impact since 2009.
The new opening will also benefit the retailer's operations in Belgium, it noted.
In July 2020, the 'Albert Heijn aan huis' delivery service was launched there and less than two years later, more than 60% of Flemish households can order groceries through the retailer. This week another 250,000 households will be added.
In addition, the chain launched the business service 'Albert Heijn op 't werk' in March, which focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises in Flanders.