Retail news round-up August 5, 2013: Easyjet founder to launch grocery business, Tesco increases online grocery market share, The Co-op revamps its own-brand offer and French Connection to dispose of its Tegan fashion brand.

EasyJet founder to launch budget supermarket

EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is launching a low-cost grocery business to undercut low prices offered by budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl. The new business, called EasyFoodstore, will focus on a limited range of tinned and packet foods.

Haji-Ioannou’s EasyGroup has announced plans for a pilot site in Croydon as it aims to cash in on the very cheapest end of the grocery market. EasyGroup has set up a website for, which says that the venture is “coming soon” and has also applied for an EasyFoodstore trademark.

Haji-Ioannou said that the business could be expanded next year by taking advantage of weak property prices to buy up freehold retail sites.

Tesco share of online grocery market increases

Tesco is extending its dominance beyond the high street, as according to data from Kantar Worldpanel, it is the only supermarket to have increased its share of the online grocery market in the past year.

Tesco’s share of online grocery shopping rose by 2.4 percentage points in the first 19 weeks of the year whereas Asda and Ocado both lost 0.6 percentage points of market share. Sainsbury was the biggest loser with a 1.1 point drop. Waitrose remained unchanged.

Co-operative to revamp its own-brand food

The Co-operative Group is revamping its own-brand food range as part of a drive to put its failing retail business back on track. The Co-op is to rename its own-brand range “Loved by Us”, with as many as 700 lines launched by Christmas and the first new products arriving in stores from September.

French Connection to dispose its Tegan fashion brand to stabilise profits

Fashion chain French Connection is to shut its Tegan fashion brand just 18 months after it was launched.

The company, which made a loss in three of its past five years of trading, aims to stabilise profits by discarding poorly performing stores and closing or selling weak business units. In recent years, it has shut its Japanese business and disposed of its Nicole Farhi brand.

Sainsbury’s hires Cake for six-month mobile launch project

Sainsbury’s has hired creative agency Cake to promote its “Mobile by Sainsbury’s” until December 2013. Cake associate director Helen Rainford will lead the account and report to Mobile by Sainsbury’s brand communications manager Lucy Wilkinson and marketing director Emma McLaughlin.

“Mobile by Sainsbury’s”, which launched last month with a range of pay-as-you-go packages, is a new company set by the grocer to provide mobile phone service in collabration with Vodafone.