Iceland suffers challenging year despite new format

Like-for-like sales at Iceland fell by 4.4% due to an “exceptionally challenging” year, it reported on June 10. 

Sales for the 52 weeks ended 27 March, 2015, fell to £2.967bn from £2.711bn in the same period in 2014.

The fall in like-for-like sales was due to a reduction in customer transactions, food price deflation and the cannibalisation effect of new store openings, the company said.

This year Iceland has developed a new store format, launched new product ranges, upgraded packaging and initiated a major productivity programme.

During the period the group opened 30 new stores in the UK, including six larger stores under The Food Warehouse fascia, and three new stores in the Republic of Ireland.

The Food Warehouse is more than double the size of a typical Iceland store and offers extended ranges of luxury and speciality frozen food, chilled meat and fresh produce.

New ranges of speciality meat including Kezie speciality meats, fish and frozen bread were all successfully tested in The Food Warehouse before being made available in most Iceland stores across the country.

Iceland chairman and chief executive Malcolm Walker said: “This has been an exceptionally challenging year for the Group, and for the UK food retailing industry as a whole.

“In the face of food price deflation, intense competition and significant change in consumers’ shopping habits, Iceland has continued its long tradition of successful reinvention.”

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