Iceland has passed the 900-store mark in the UK with the opening of its Food Warehouse fascia in South Bristol, the 53rd large store in its portfolio.
The frozen food specialist has now grown its estate by 100 stores in four years, with plans to accelerate the growth of the Food Warehouse format beyond the current rate of 25 new stores per year. The format trades in units of 10-15,000 sq ft, making them more than double the size of a typical store, and features the standard lines as well as extended ranges of luxury and speciality frozen food, chilled meat and fresh produce, fine wines, craft beers, and other products.
The retailer - which is aiming to open its 1,000th store by 2020 - also pointed out that its 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 checkouts that are quicker and easier to use for customers and staff.
Iceland founder and executive chairman Sir Malcolm Walker said: “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. 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.
“The Food Warehouse has grown to 53 stores from a standing start in just three years, and is winning many new customers for the group. The success of our new concept refits in the Iceland estate is also extending our appeal and delivering sales uplifts that give us confidence in our ability to open more new Iceland stores within the UK. We have proven that Iceland and The Food Warehouse can trade successfully together in a growing number of towns and cities, and we look forward with confidence to the future development of both store formats."