Normal store in Utrecht

The Normal store was the first store that I had a look in at the Hoog Catharijne shopping mall, as they just recently opened this first Normal store in the Netherlands and it was immediately on the left, when you enter the mall. Basically, one of the first stores you see.

Normal store in Utrecht Hoog Catharijne shopping mall Netherlands

The Normal store is famous in Scandinavian countries for its normal, day to day, branded household and beauty products for abnormal low prices. A large portion of their products remain having the same low price, while there is a smaller portion of products that is changed every week. It will keep the customers coming for their daily necessities, but also for the surprising good deals and new products that they regularly bring in.    

I was really curious to find out what kind of new thing the Normal stores is going to provide to the market in the Netherlands. One thing that they did know well is that Dutch people like a good bargain. We spend a lot on good food, eating out, and vacations, but if possible, we like to pay the lowest price for things.

As I don't know how much I normally pay for things like tooth paste, toilet paper, and garbage bags (I tend to buy a lot of them in bulk, when there is a sale), I couldn't tell if I really would save money by buying everything at Normal stores from now on. So, I cannot really say much about the lower prices for the day to day products.

However, I can say something about the store interior, the product range, and the special sale products.

The store interior is similar to the IKEA and the Søstrene Grene store, it is like a maze and you need to pass by every product, before you can leave the store. It is quite clever how they did it, while the store is relatively small. The store is well lit and every item is neatly stored in large bins or in storage racks. It never got too crowded or uncomfortable.

The Normal store didn't excel in providing a large and complete range of products within a product type, like hundreds of different shampoo and conditioners like in a Kruidvat store for example, but there were some shampoos of famous and popular brands and also, a few brands from abroad that I have never seen before. There were also some areas that I wasn't that interested in, such as pet food, storage containers, plastic bags, and garbage bags. The foreign candy area and the cooled drinks did catch my interest. There were American candy and chocolates for around €1-2. I also found some new drinks in the cooler. The Min Vitamin waters looked the most interesting, so I bought two bottles to try out.

Normal store Min Vitamin waters relax support peach mango blueberry pomegranate

The Min Vitamin water - relax has a Peach Mango flavor and it contains chamomile flower and lemon balm. It is for harmony and well-being. It is fortified with vitamin E, B3, and B6, which help reduce fatigue and exhaustion.

The Min Vitamin water - support has a Blueberry Pomegranate flavor and it contains green tea extract. It is fortified with vitamin C and D, which contribute to the normal function of the immune system.

We drank them on the way back in the train, while it was super hot, so the flavor might be different from drinking it cold, right out of the cooler. The Peach-Mango and Blueberry-Pomegranate flavor were both really good, but the Peach-Mango vitamin water had a strange acidic aftertaste (maybe from the heat?), while the Blueberry-Pomegranate vitamin water was normal. I don't know if it really is because of the vitamin water that I drank, but I had less symptoms from hey fever that weekend and recovered faster (a day or so). I also didn't feel as tired, after a long day in Utrecht.

In the special sale bins at the entrance, I found Eos lip balm sticks for €4. I didn't get any, as I already have ten unopened lip balms at home. But when I googled it, I discovered that one costs around €15. So, it would have been a bargain.

A Normal store opened in Zuidplein, Rotterdam, which is a lot closer to where I live.

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