Following on from yesterday’s revelations that easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is to launch a budget supermarket chain - easyFoodstore, the entrepreneur has confirmed the pilot store is to be set up in Croydon.
Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup is targeting “a niche below some of the current budget operators such as Aldi and Lidl” with the easyFoodstore launch.
Joining the ranks of easyHotels, easyOffice and easyGym, easyFoodstore will sell ‘non-branded canned and packed goods’, offering shoppers “reliable day-to-day provision of basic foodstuffs,” according to Haji-Ioannou.
The pilot store will be housed on the ground floor of an easyGroup owned nine-story building on Addiscombe Road, Croydon, which will also feature a number of Haji-Ioannou’s other ventures. If the initial store is a success then there are plans to roll-out the concept on a wider scale.
Speaking via the easyFoodstore website Haji-Ioannou commented: “it is very early days in the project”. Of the Croydon pilot store, he added: “The ground floor will provide a site for a low-risk pilot store easyFoodstore. Concentrating on affordable, basic ‘no brand name’ packet and tinned foods at bargain prices…No other details have been decided yet. I hope that a commercially viable venture offering affordable food will help many people in need as well as produce a viable return for capital employed.”
Haji-Ioannou said if easyFoodstore is to expand in 2014 it could use freehold retail sites, taking advantage of weak property prices. His interest in the grocery market was sparked by the increasing use of foodbanks in the UK, as well as charitable programme ‘Food from the heart’ undertaken by his foundation in Cyprus.