With the opening of a new larger format and recent news of expansion in Ireland, we explore the frozen food specialist's latest plans to learn how Iceland is building its offer.
Boosting the brand: new ranges and communication
Iceland continues to innovate with new products to inspire and excite shoppers. This year, new ranges include speciality meat and fish, frozen bread and pastries, and most recently an addition to the snack foods category with private label range Cafe Asia. Along with new lines, Iceland's new social media hashtag #PowerofFrozen is likely to gain shopper attention and will play a part in boosting brand presence, particularly while the retailer tours the UK with its Iceland Surf and Turf shack in collaboration with chef Richard McGeowon.
Ireland: aim to open 70 stores
Iceland currently trades from eight stores in Ireland, however Irish MD, Ron Metcalfe, has said that the value chain could expand significantly to 70 stores over the next five years, revealing that Iceland has 42 new stores in the pipeline. Metcalfe sees great potential in Ireland, saying there is no reason why Iceland should not have a store in every town and city across the country. In 2015, Iceland is set to open five stores in Ireland, and depending on planning regulations which have previously held the retailer's expansion back, this number could double. In-store, Iceland is likely to offer a similar proposition to the UK, however we can expect more locally sourced products.
With over 850 stores in the UK, Iceland will take learnings from its UK operations to Ireland. In terms of multichannel, we can expect the home delivery service to continue in Ireland with an online offer to follow, giving Iceland a competitive advantage over the discount channel. We can also expect Iceland to introduce its Bonus Card loyalty scheme in Ireland as a key tool to understand its customers better while giving them incentives to shop with Iceland.
UK: focus on Food Warehouse
While Iceland focuses on its traditional format in Ireland, in the UK the retailer has different plans, choosing to focus instead on its latest, larger format: The Food Warehouse. While the UK and Ireland strategies differ, Metcalfe has said that there could be future opportunities in Ireland for the new Food Warehouse format, potentially in Dublin, Limerick and Galway. Iceland's focus on these stores is a strong move for the retailer as it aims to offer a wide and differentiated offer, giving shoppers more reason to visit Iceland.