No. That’s not a spelling mistake. There is a store called HEMA and if you’re a regular commuter through Victoria Station, you’ll have seen it. I was sent a gift card to give the store a try and I have to say I was more than impressed. We’re quite new to this brand which has been going strong since 1926 in Holland. HEMA is, in fact, an acronym which only makes sense in the Dutch language, Hollandsche Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam and doesn’t translate well to English … Hollandic Standard Prices Company Amsterdam. It’s a discount retail chain that started life as a pound shop equivalent and they’ve got five stores here in the UK, including one at Stansted Airport.
It’s a little like a mini-Woolworths, selling just about everything you could want from make up to stationery, food to party gifts.
The Victoria branch is compact and bijou but they’ve managed to squeeze quite a lot into such a small unit.
There are some excellent toiletries under 100ml; I snagged these foaming shower gels and hair mousse, perfect for hand baggage for long weekends away.
I also bagged a DIY cake kit which has everything you need to make a floral, iced cake (£7.50) and for the more experienced baker, there’s coloured marzipan, cake pans, sprinkles and decorations galore.
The kids party selection is well stocked from pocket-money gifts to wrapping paper and party plates and dishes.
There are some great stationery items too, again the price point of which is hard to believe given the distinct quality.
In the homeware section, you’ll find scrubbing brushes, rubbish bags and liquid detergents.
An exhaustive make up section includes a special skincare range for the over the 30s.
I bought a couple of food items, some bread sticks and a packet of chocolate-covered wheat biscuits. The aisles are stocked with high quality, reasonably priced traditional and not so traditional Dutch goods, plenty of marzipan and liquorice.
There’s something in here for everyone, the kind of shop you pop into without a need for anything, eventually leaving with a bag full of goods.
My shopping bill came to £25.00.
HEMA, Victoria Place Shopping Centre
(Take the escalators in Victoria Station next to Upper Crust to the second floor )
115 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9SJ