Posts Tagged With: HEMA

Mall of the Netherlands (Or: Like an inexpensive trip to America?)

The Mall of the Netherlands opened earlier this year. It is definitely an American style mall, complete with kiosks in the middle of the walkways. The owner is Westfield (the company that owns a lot of American malls) so it does make sense.

First, the cutest photo ever, of the Nijntje store! Nijntje is a cartoon rabbit. She goes by Miffy in English translations.

And then Hema – I love the facade and touch of green. And as noted, there’s a kiosk in the middle of the walkway.

What mall isn’t complete without a peanut butter store (below)? pindakaas = peanut butter.

The joke on the bag is Pindakaas, in geval van noot or Peanut butter, in case of emergency. Normally it is “in geval van nood”, but they switched out nood (emergency) for noot (nut in English).

(It’s a lot cooler if you don’t have to explain it, I swear.)

And finally, a huge cart artwork which doubles as a slide for kids (the front paws are the slide).

So we can finally say that the Netherlands has a proper mall. American style, at least.

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Early morning shopping (Or: It still feels weird)

Early morning shopping was on the menu today. Early morning being in the city centre around 09:00, when shops were just opening and practically deserted. I didn’t go to any “popular” stores as that would be the epitome of silly. For example, here was the line at Primark around 09:30:

Note that this is a double line that starts on the left side, goes to the right, snakes down the side of the building and wraps back around to the entrance (the door directly in the picture is the exit in corona times). But it won’t be the first or last time I take a photo of the line outside of Primark. It is always crazy long.

I went to Blokker and Xenos – both were practically empty. I then went to Hema, which was a bit busy but doable. I did take a photo of the smartphone cases at Hema as I thought it was a cute display idea:

Those hands would also make for great models for drawing.

I did end up buying a few minor things – a few dish cloths, a new loofah, a spicy ginger tea and a small bag of jelly beans for Marco – but nothing too special. But still, it was weird to be back in “non-essential” stores again. Oh, and I randomly saw a coworker who I’ve spoken with once (!) in the last year. That was strange too. We had a short conversation in Dutch and then parted ways again.

Categories: Everyday purchases, Shopping, The Hague | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Waiting in line at HEMA (Or: Pickup is allowed)

In the afternoon you will usually see a handful of people waiting to pick up a package at HEMA (official website, or check out the English Wikipedia page). It sells housewares and clothes, mostly made under their own label.

Under the current corona measures you are allowed to pick up packages at non-essential stores, although later in the week you will also be able to make an appointment to shop at a non-essential store. The rules are pretty strict, though; only two customers at a time per floor which is not helpful for large stores.

As you can see a few people are waiting for a package in this photo. Technically the pickup point needs to be outside, but it is actually just inside the first of two sets of automatic doors. If you look closely you can just barely see the white cart with three shelves and a blue bag – there is a customer inside picking up her order. And at least this way you don’t get rained on while you are paying for your order!

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We miss you (Or: Hema and sculptures)

I noticed a “We miss you” sign at Hema (English Wikipedia) recently and decided to snap a quick picture:

“We missen je” = “We miss you”

Non-essential stores are still closed in the Netherlands, although click-and-collect options will be available from 10 February (see my previous blog post).

In other news, for those of us in The Hague: the yearly sculpture event will be returning to the Lange Voorhout this summer! (Official link from pulchri.nl in Dutch). The exhibition will run from 21 May to 14 September and will feature sculptures from 20 artists. The event is free and open to the public at any point of the day (provided there isn’t an evening curfew… ugh).

In 2018 (blog post) and 2019 the event was sand sculptures. Unfortunately the 2020 event was cancelled due to the corona crisis, so it is nice to see it return this year.

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Essential? Non-essential? (Or: What are we again?)

The discussion about who can stay open during the lockdown and who must close continued today. Hema, a general merchandise retail store, decided to open today. Only essential items like food, baby clothes and toiletries were available. The original government ruling said that if it at least 30% of the items sold were essential, then that part of the store with essential items could remain open. The rest of the inventory would be unavailable for sale. (If the store sold at least 70% essential items the entire store could remain open.) Because at least 30% of what Hema sells is essential they decided to open yesterday. Problem is, other chains including Action and Wibra then decided they would re-open from tomorrow. And those stores’ stock is even less essential than Hema’s in my opinion.

That meant the Dutch cabinet went back into discussions last night and this morning. The end result: the 30% ruling is now gone, so you need to sell at least 70% essential items to stay open.

Some large non-essential stores open despite lockdown; government to intervene from nltimes.nl

and then Tighter rules around essential stores that can open in lockdown, also from nltimes.nl.

Fotoseries: Stil in Den Haag op de eerste dag van de lockdown, or Photos: Silence in The Hague on the first day of the lockdown [Tuesday]. Photos 9 and 11 are a bit political, since the pink ‘soon available for renting’ signs have the Dutch prime minister and the Health minister’s name listed as the realtor (Rutte and De Jonge).

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That’s pretty clever (Or: A wall of chocolate letters at Hema)

Marco took this photo for me of the Hema in The Hague’s city centre. It shows a wall of chocolate Sinterklaas letters being used to block off what was formerly the entrance to Hema’s restaurant:

Hema’s restaurant is closed right now due to the corona regulations in the Netherlands. All restaurants and cafés are closed with the exception of takeaway. But takeaway doesn’t make much sense at the Hema restaurant so it is completely closed.

And what better way is there to to block off an entrance? It’s quite clever – it immediately makes the space more festive and takes attention away from the reasons why it needed to be closed in the first place. Here’s a look at the store when the restaurant redesign first opened back in early 2015:

You can see the store in the background

If you need a refresher on Sinterklaas letters, they are literally large letters of chocolate, from A all the way to Z. They usually come in the flavors milk, dark, white and hazelnut. They are either plain or covered in fancy designs. If they are a gift for someone, then you normally buy the letter that corresponds with the first letter of the receipt’s name (N for Niki, and so forth). Or a lot of people buy “S” for Sinterklaas. But be warned: if you wait until the day before Sinterklaas to buy one, there will probably only be Q’s left!

Sinterklaas is celebrated on 5 December. It is a children’s holiday (mostly…), celebrated with gifts, poems and good food. You can read more at dutchnews.nl with the “Ten things you need to know to celebrate Sinterklaas” list.

Categories: Holidays, Shopping | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Halloween at Hema (Or: Bit by bit the popularity grows)

It’s almost time for Halloween! Here is one of the two display stands at Hema:

I have mentioned before that Halloween isn’t that big in the Netherlands. It’s slowly gaining in popularity but trick or treating for candy isn’t a huge thing. Of course there is some trick or treating (I know some international schools do promote it) but it’s not as big with Dutch children as far as I’m aware. SoLow has a great collection of costumes and decorations if you’re interested. Xenos usually has a small collection as well.

As most of my readers are aware, it’s not going that great with Europe in terms of the corona virus. The same is true here in the Netherlands as we’ve been breaking records left and right. Number of cases, hospital intakes, ICU intakes, deaths… It definitely seems like the “second wave” has started. Today we registered 2,552 cases. Various experts (but not the government, yet) are saying a lockdown will be coming if the number of cases can’t be slowed. For instance the chairman of the Dutch Union of the Intensive Care Diederik Gommers said this during an interview with Radio 538 (article in Dutch). You can also see the weekly numbers at RIVM.nl in English, updated two days ago.

But, anyway. For something completely different – if you’re interested in war monuments, check out this new war monuments digital archive over at haagsgemeentearchief.nl. The website is in Dutch but there’s also photographs to look at. You can also read an accompanying article in Dutch at omroepwest.nl: Haagse oorlogsmonumenten op een rij gezet: ‘Maar denken dat er nog meer zijn’.

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Chocolate eggs by Hema (Or: Stroopwafel flavor, anyone?)

It feels like a lifetime ago, but a few weeks ago (13 March) I was browsing in Hema. I could not resist snapping a few photos of their chocolate egg collection:

Some of the flavors included dark chocolate banana cream, white chocolate matcha lemon, milk chocolate cookies and cream (that one was almost empty), milk chocolate orange, milk chocolate coconut, milk chocolate peanut butter… I definitely learned that everyone’s favorite flavor is milk chocolate, not dark chocolate.

There was also a display near one of the entrances.

But the best (and most Dutch) flavor was…

You guessed it… Stroopwafel flavored chocolate eggs!

Categories: Everyday purchases, Holidays | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Sweet store displays (Or: Valentine’s Day by Hema)

❤ Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

Valentine’s Day display at Hema in The Hague

Marco and I exchanged Valentine’s Day gifts this morning. He got me a small bottle of cava (a Spanish sparking wine), a bag of Haribo gummy bears and a chocolate rose. ❤

I got him Winter-in-lov, a chocolate and rooibos tea, with additional spices like cinnamon, ginger and licorice. If you like tea with chocolate notes, I can highly recommend it.

Categories: Holidays, Marco&Niki | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Kruidnoten (Or: The start of Christmas this year)

Back in 2013 I wrote a blog post called Kruidnoten (Or: Christmas comes earlier every year). That post mentioned how kruidnoten (Wikipedia) were readily available after September 1st. This candy is traditionally seen in the month of December, both for the Sinterklaas holiday on December 5 as well as Christmas.

This year they were definitely available by August 23, when this photo was taken in a local Hema. Heh.

Kruidnoten by Hema, August 2018.jpg

I give it another 5 years, and then they will be available everywhere by August 1st.

(And in case my parents are wondering, yes, we’ll bring some the next time we visit.)

Categories: Culture, Food, Holidays | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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