Iceland is the UK’s leading frozen food specialist, with around 995 outlets and sales of £3.6bn in FY2021. Sales and profits have come under intense pressure over the past few years as Iceland has invested heavily in price in response to the growing competition in the grocery market.
It is sharpening its focus on quality and innovation to drive growth and is supporting this with a more aspirational ‘Power of Frozen’ marketing campaign. A retail park-focused, upmarket store format – The Food Warehouse – underpins expansion plans, with just shy of 150 locations at the end of FY2021, supporting its long-term goal of operating 400 locations.
Viewing itself as a mobile-first retailer, Iceland is developing its technology infrastructure, ecommerce proposition, and fulfilment operation. To this end, a new website launched in 2019 and has sought to further refine its online offering with free next day delivery as well as the launch of a quick commerce trial with Uber Eats towards the end of 2022.
Richard Walker has taken on the role of executive chairman from the beginning of 2023, taking over from his father Malcolm who is stepping down from the role but will remain on the board as founder.
Malcolm Walker and group chief executive Tarsem Dhaliwal took full ownership of Iceland after purchasing Brait SE’s 63% stake back for £115m in June 2020.
Innovation rating: 2