Ahold (NYSE:AHO), the international food retail and foodservice company, starts service to the Slovakian customer for the first time in November 2001 when it opens its first store in the capital Bratislava.

For the start-up and development of activities in Slovakia, the company calls on the knowledge and experience gained at its operations in the Czech Republic. Ahold announces its entry into Slovakia in the week it marks 10 years of operations in the Czech market, making it the Czech consumer's favorite food store.

In June 1991, immediately after the Velvet Revolution when the Czechs abandoned communism, Ahold opened its first supermarket in the Czech city of Jihlava under the brandname Mana (Czech for 'bread of heaven'). As one of the first western companies to invest in the Czech Republic, Ahold specialists from The Netherlands passed on their food retail knowledge and experience to local Czech associates. Suppliers were introduced to a new way of production, logistics and distribution. Czech consumers were excited to enjoy western style service in modern supermarkets, product quality and much more variety than they were used to.

Meanwhile, Ahold has become profitable in the Czech Republic and is market leader in food with a network of 152 Albert supermarkets, six Hypernova hypermarkets and 26 Hypernova compact hypermarkets. Many more stores are planned to open in the coming years. Over the last decade, sales have grown significantly from approximately Euro 12 million in 1991 to Euro 598 million in 2000. Ahold employs 10,000 Czechs.

Remarks by Peter Ruzicka, President & CEO Ahold Czech Republic

"We offer Czech consumers precisely what they want,' said Peter Ruzicka, President & CEO of Ahold Czech Republic. `That was not the case in the early years when we had to import over 80% of the products. This has changed dramatically and today close to 90% of the assortment is locally produced. Our product offering now includes a broad range of Czech specialities, many locally produced fresh items, international dishes and a great variety of non-food. Our supermarket and hypermarket formats are popular because of the choice they offer to the consumer, the friendly service and the high quality. We offer our customers value for money. Much of the know-how we have developed here is now also used by sister companies around the Ahold world. In Slovakia, we will use much of the experience we gained in the Czech Republic, as we are also doing in Poland where we have introduced the mini-hypermarket format developed here.'

Ten Ahold stores within a year in Slovakia

Ahold starts its Slovakian operation with Hypernova compact hypermarkets. They have an average selling space of 35,000 sq.ft. (approximately 3,500 sq.m.). The stores offer customers a range of about 40,000 products, both food and non-food. Under the name Hypernova, Ahold expects to open eight compact hypermarkets and two very large hypermarkets (approximately 80,000 sq.ft.) within a 12 month period.

Royal Ahold

Royal Ahold operates approximately 8,500 supermarkets, hypermarkets and other store formats in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia with consolidated 2000 sales of close to USD 50 billion (Euro 52.5 billion). The company also has a significant presence in the foodservice sector and is swiftly developing its position in internet-based home delivery. Ahold employs almost 420,000 associates and serves the food needs of over 35 million customers and more than 200,000 foodservice accounts in 25 countries every week. Ahold's website can be found at www.ahold.com.

This Royal Ahold press release contains 'forward-looking' statements. Actual results may differ from such statements as they may have been influenced by factors beyond the company's ability to control, as more fully discussed in the company's annual report.