EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has thrown down the gauntlet to Aldi and Lidl by launching a store selling groceries for just 25p each.
The easyFoodstore pilot shop opened last week, stocking a range of 76 staple basket items including tea, coffee, canned vegetables, baked beans, biscuits, pasta, rice and soft drinks. However, it does not yet have a fresh fruit and vegetables proposition.
To mark the launch of the store, which is located on Park Royal West, just off the North Circular Road, all products will be sold for 25p throughout February. It means customers could purchase all the goods on offer for just £19.
The retailer’s slogan is “No expensive brands. Just food honestly priced.” And if the store gains traction, it could eventually grow into another threat to the big four supermarkets.
The major grocers - Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons - are already facing into rapidly changing consumer habits. Shoppers have moved away from weekly supermarket trips and turned to discount duo Aldi and Lidl in their droves.
Convenience stores have also become one of the fastest growing sectors in the market as consumers shop little and often with smaller, more regular baskets, while the number of people shopping for groceries online also remains on the rise.
As previously reported by Retail Week, Haji-Ioannou had planned to capitalise on those changing trends and grab a slice of the discount pie by opening his first easyFoodstore in Croydon back in 2013. He had earmarked the ground floor of a nine-storey building that easyGroup had acquired.
But those plans were canned after easyGroup failed to gain planning permission from the local authority. Haji-Ioannou instead used the site to test a mock-up of the shop with focus groups and a number of retail analysts.
The new store is being supplied by Euro Shopper, a brand produced by Dutch non-profit buying alliance AMS. The company already counts ten other European retailers among its client base, including Esselunga in Italy and Finnish grocer Kesko.