Iceland is the UK’s leading frozen food specialist, with around 995 outlets and sales of £3.7bn in FY2020. 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.
However, a shift in consumer shopping behaviour during the pandemic helped bolster Iceland’s sales and bottom line.
It is sharpening its focus on sustainability, 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 20 new locations added during FY2020 to support 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 March 2019 and it is looking to further refine its online offering with the launch of same-day delivery in mid 2021, as well as a home delivery trial with Uber Eats.
A management shakeup saw Richard Walker, son of founder Malcolm Walker, take on the role of managing director. In June 2020, it was revealed that Malcolm Walker and group chief executive Tarsem Dhaliwal took full ownership of Iceland after purchasing Brait SE’s 63% stake back for £115m.
Innovation rating: 2