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Iceland unveils plan to open 50 new stores as it takes fight to discounters

The frozen food specialist added that it was facing a “savagely competitive” retail climate and that consumer confidence was still being dampened by Brexit-related uncertainty

Iceland
Iceland has already opened 14 stores so far in its current financial year

Supermarket Iceland has unveiled plans to open 50 new stores across the UK in 2019 in a move to counter the rapid expansion of German discounters Aldi and Lidl.

In an outlook statement accompanying its latest full-year results, the frozen food specialist said it had already opened 14 stores so far in its current financial year, with the additional 50 stores to include 34 branches of The Food Warehouse, which allows customers to buy in bulk.

READ: Tesco still market leader but for how long?

However, the company said that it was facing a “savagely competitive” retail climate and that consumer confidence was still being dampened by Brexit-related uncertainty.

For the year ended 29 March 2019, Iceland reported adjusted earnings (EBITDA) of £140.1mln, down from £157.1mln in the prior year, while sales rose 4.5% to £3.08bn.

The news of Iceland’s plans for store expansion followed an announcement from Lidl on Wednesday that it would open its first store in central London as part of plans to open 40 new shops in the capital over the next five years, costing it around £500mln.

Iceland currently trails behind all the other major supermarket brands with only 2.1% market share according to the latest Kantar data. By contrast, Lidl currently controls 5.8% of the market while Aldi holds 8%.

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