The Deeside, Wales-headquartered Iceland Group is now operating 900 supermarket outlets in the UK. The milestone was reached last week with the opening of the 53rd of its larger format stores doing business under The Food Warehouse by Iceland banner in South Bristol, England.
The frozen food retail specialist has grown its total UK estate by 100 units in just over four years, creating more than 2,000 new jobs in the process.
The Food Warehouse has been expanding rapidly since the inauguration of its first store in September of 2014, and there are plans to accelerate growth from the current opening rate of 25 new outlets each year. Operating within a space of 10,000 to 15,000 square feet – more than twice the size of a typical Iceland high street store – The Food Warehouse offers the full Iceland range complemented by extended lines of luxury and specialty frozen food, chilled meat and fresh produce, wines, beers, value bulk packs of grocery products, and selected bargain homeware items.
Meanwhile, the core Iceland estate of 847 UK stores has been benefiting from comprehensive refurbishments at the rate of one per week, bringing new fascias and frontages, digital signage, improved in-store navigation and new checkout counters that are quicker and easier to use for customers and staff alike.
Three major extensions to existing Iceland stores are due to open before Christmas 2017, and sites for more completely new Iceland stores are being sought throughout Britain, with four already in the pipeline.
“On 18 November it will be exactly 47 years since I opened the first Iceland store in Oswestry – and back then nine stores looked a towering ambition, never mind 900,” remarked Iceland Founder and Executive Chairman Sir Malcolm Walker commented. “I am delighted that we have reached this new milestone as a distinctive British company with a unique culture, fantastic colleagues, and so many great products that you genuinely can’t find anywhere else.
“Our major investments of at least £750,000 in each new The Food Warehouse store and over £500,000 in each Iceland refurbishment underline our confidence in the future of our business, and I very much look forward to celebrating the opening of our 1,000th store around the time of Iceland’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2020.”
About the Iceland Group
Established in 1970, the company today is comprised of Iceland Foods, Iceland Online, The Food Warehouse, Iceland Manufacturing and Iceland International. Recognized as the UK’s leading frozen foods retailer, it has been in the forefront of promoting the sector with an ongoing “Power of Frozen” public relations campaign championing high quality, fresher than fresh products sold at value prices.
The chain offers a free home delivery service for in-store purchases of £20 or more, and has long been recognized as a pioneer in removing artificial colors, flavors and non-essential preservatives from its own label products. Iceland has been ranked as one of the UK’s “Best Big Companies to Work For” during the last 11 years, and was No. 1 in both 2012 and 2014.
Iceland Manufacturing is dedicated to the production of meals under the Slimming World brand, sold exclusively through Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores.
Iceland International operates Iceland stores in Ireland and the Czech Republic, and exports Iceland’s private label products to more than 40 countries worldwide, including to a network of franchised stores in the Channel Islands, Spain, Portugal, Malta and Iceland (the island nation).