This is HEMA
After 93 years at the same location in the Rechtestraat, the HEMA department store moved to a beautiful new building on 18 Septemberplein. Three floors of food, living, clothing, and party supplies. Think of it, HEMA has it. Assistant manager Angela Kaak was actively involved in the move: “We are still the familiar HEMA that everyone knows but in a new guise. We have more products, and thanks to the division into theme worlds, our customers can find everything even more easily.” Welcome to HEMA 2.0.
Q. Is HEMA a typical Eindhoven hotspot?
A. Definitely. Hema has been in the city center of Eindhoven for more than ninety years. We are even more visible at this new location. Everyone who walks into the city coming from the train station passes our store.
Q. What is your most special memory of this place?
A. We have set up this store with our team and with the help of colleagues from other HEMA locations. Quite a job, so we were extremely proud when we could officially open the doors on March 12. Unfortunately, a few days later the corona measures went into effect, forcing everyone to stay at home as much as possible. Fortunately, we were able to safely let customers enjoy the festivities, but it was different than expected.
Q. What are your hopes for the future?
A. I wish we could welcome our customers back to our restaurant and interact with each other as before. We are proud of our large restaurant with a view over the square. We normally serve fresh food all day, from breakfast to dinner. It is also a popular spot to work for a bit. Very unfortunate that it is now closed.
Q. And what about the compliments for this new HEMA?
A. I love that about this new store; we get a lot of positive reactions. Our customers are really surprised by it all. We have more products than ever, and we have divided everything into different worlds. For example, in the world of cooking, you will find a wide range of cooking utensils, and the world of study has useful products for everyone who is now working or studying from home.
Q. Why do visitors have to stop at your place during their visit to Eindhoven?
A. Because we have everything. Something for everyone. Forgot something for your stay in Eindhoven? We’ve got your back. Would you like to eat something? You can buy all kinds of goodies to take with you at our food court. Also, for a gift or a nice souvenir, we have plenty of choices.
Q. HEMA has been around for such a long time. Will you give us a short history lesson?
A. Founders Leo Meyer and Arthur Isaac wanted to open a department store for ‘the common man’. In 1926 they opened the first HEMA, short in Dutch for: ‘Hollandse Eenheidsprijs Maatschappij Amsterdam’, at the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam. Only items of 10, 25, or 50 cents (eenheidsprijs means unit prices) were sold. Branches outside Amsterdam were soon opened, including in Eindhoven. What HEMA stands for has not changed in all those years. As a store, we are still optimistic, unique, simple, reliable, accessible, and typically Dutch.
Q. What do shoppers come back for?
A. The HEMA customer cannot be labeled. We have such a diversity of customers that the products they come back for are also quite different. Our make-up products are popular, as are our baby items, clothing, wines, and our classics such as the famous pastry, the tompouce and smoked sausages. Our vegan hot dog and vegan apple pie are real bestsellers at the food court.
Q. How would you describe your style?
A. You always see our love for design. Our products are user-friendly but also trendy and affordable. You get your money's worth, and you really notice that everything is made with love.
Q. Do you have a nice anecdote for the reader?
A. In the last weeks before the move, two of our colleagues set up our shop windows on the Rechtestraat as a mini-museum with HEMA classics. A special dress, owned by Dutch performer Karin Bloemen and made from HEMA bags, was one of the showpieces. The shop windows drew a lot of attention, and for many people, it brought back beautiful memories.
Q. Who would you like to welcome here to the store?
A. I think Queen Máxima is a fan of ours so if I could show her around here, I would love that, and it would be a great honor.
Take a picture
Are you curious about HEMA on 18 Septemberplein? The big red arrow is in front of the store, so you cannot miss it. Take a photo of yourself with the arrow at this HEMA and share the photo on your Stories with a tag for @eindhovencity and @hemanederland. On presentation of your post and a minimum purchase of €5,00 you will receive a typical Dutch chocolate treat, a ‘chocoladeletter’, as a gift.
Location: 18 Septemberplein 3
Specialized in: something for everyone
An Eindhoven hotspot since: 1927, at this location since March 2020
In conversation with: Angela Kaak