The Ahold secure web application is a gateway for accessing the private corporate networks of Ahold and affiliated companies. Ahold is the biggest grocery store chain in the Netherlands, as of April 2015.
Additionally, Ahold owns retail stores in five other countries including the Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the United States. The company also holds a 49 percent stake in a Portuguese retail company, Gestão de Empresas de Retalho.
Ahold was founded in 1887 when Albert Heijn opened his grocery in Oostzaan, Netherlands. Within a decade, Heijn owned 23 grocery stores. Under the Heijn family, Albert Heijn groceries innovated during the early 1900s. The chain pioneered self-service grocery shopping, store brand merchandise and selling non-food items. In the second half of the 20th century, the Albert Heijn company changed its name to Ahold N.V and acquired hundreds of groceries, health-and-beauty stores and other retail shops.
In 2003, Ahold's growth was jeopardized when the company was censured for irregular, misleading accounting practices. The company had misstated its earnings for 2001 and 2002. Ahold's CEO and a number of other top executives resigned over the matter, and some executives faced fraud charges in the Netherlands and the United States. After instituting reforms, Ahold rebuilt its reputation under new leadership.