Supermarket founder Dirk van den Broek dies age 96
Dirk van den Broek, founder of the eponymous budget supermarket chain, has died aged 96 at his home in Aerdenhout.
Dirk van den Broek started life as a businessman at age 15, delivering milk on a milk float in his native Amsterdam. In 1948 he started the first self-service shop in the capital on Mercatorplein in Amsterdam West.
Eleven years later he opened his first supermarket in the nearby Kinkerstraat, with a variety of groceries but also meat, fruit and vegetables and bread. He later added non-food articles such as toys and household articles.
Van den Broek continually bought up other companies and diversified into other lines of business. He started the Dirck Dirckz restaurant chain at the end of the 1950s and in 1966 he started budget travel agency D-Reizen.
Dirk van den Broek, like all Dutch supermarket chains, is still family-owned. In 1985 Van den Broek handed over the reins to his children.
From 2014, all 123 Dirk van den Broek shops have gone by the name Dirk, the popular name given to the supermarket by shoppers. The supermarket is part of the Detailresult group which also includes the off licence Dirck III. The group comprises 204 shops in total and employs 22,000 people.
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