Iceland has announced plans to open three new stores in Norway, according to Nettavisen. This comes after its initial launch of two in May 2018.
Strong sales through winter
The Norwegian stores are operated by Ice Nordic, Iceland's franchise partner. The first two branches were launched in Oslo and Larvik. They are smaller than the average UK stores, but include a similar range of private label, fresh and locally sourced products. CEO of Ice Nordic Geir Olav Opheim has said the stores are close to reaching profitability, with strong sales in the later part of the year and Christmas.
The three new stores will all be in the Oslo area, bringing the total in the capital to four. The new stores will be larger than the existing ones in Norway and will have an increased range.
Expansion is expected to continue, but at a slow pace. Plans are for around five to seven stores in the short term. This will be focused in the Eastern part of the country initially with other areas being considered in the future. Despite expansion being slow Opheim is happy with progress. He believes it allows them more time to understand the market and test different concepts on a small scale.
Iceland have franchised in many markets opening stores at a similar pace. Iceland International has been operating for twenty years in Spain, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Portugal and has 16 stores. In the Channel Islands it has a total of eight stores that have been opened over the past 15 years.
More recently it has entered China in a partnership with JD.com. The retailers online debut in China is with six categories snacks, beverages, baby, baking, skin care and personal care.
In the UK Iceland also continues to expand with plans of opening c.35 new stores a year. It is also exploring the partnership model with general merchandise chain The Range, launching shop-in-shop concessions in its stores.
Click here to see Iceland's Strategic Outlook for 2018-2023 and learn more about its future plans.
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