Ice­land’s ex­pan­sion plan tar­gets 70 stores

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - Fearghal O’con­nor

BRI­TISH gro­cery re­tailer Ice­land plans ex­pan­sion through­out Ire­land that will see it at least dou­ble its pres­ence in the Ir­ish mar­ket.

The re­tailer — known for its frozen food but which also has a grow­ing line of fresh pro­duce — has plans to have be­tween 50 and 70 stores here in total over the next five years.

The com­pany re­turned to the Ir­ish mar­ket in 2013 and has since de­vel­oped its am­bi­tious ex­pan­sion plan that it says could even­tu­ally see it have out­lets through­out the coun­try.

“We look ev­ery­where,” said the head of Ice­land in Ire­land, Ron Met­calfe.

“We want a store in ev­ery town. The ar­eas where we are ac­tively look­ing more than most are where we haven’t ac­tu­ally got any cov­er­age and around Meath, up the east coast from south Dublin right up to Dun­dalk, and then, af­ter that, prob­a­bly the west coast around Sligo.

“Those are the ar­eas we are ac­tively look­ing at, but ul­ti­mately the plan is to have na­tional cov­er­age.”

“Our goal is to get to be­tween 50 and 70 stores in the Repub­lic of Ire­land,” he says.

The re­tailer has just opened new stores in Ne­nagh and Wex­ford and is plan­ning a fur­ther five next year, with plans to ac­cel­er­ate the growth af­ter that.

“What slows us down is get­ting sites or prop­erty in the right lo­ca­tion to put in the right size store for an area,” he said.

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