Saturday 1 October 2016

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou's easyFoodstore sells groceries for 25p

Published 03/02/2016 | 00:21

Shoppers buy items for 25p in a new easyFoodstore owned by easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou in Park Royal, north-west London
Shoppers buy items for 25p in a new easyFoodstore owned by easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou in Park Royal, north-west London

EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has entered the thriving discount grocery market with a low-cost food store selling items for 25p.

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The entrepreneur has launched the concept easyFoodstore in Park Royal, north-west London, in an attempt to cash in on the very cheapest end of the grocery market.

The store is selling a "limited and basic range" of items for 25p each this month as an introductory offer under the slogan: "No expensive brands. Just food honestly priced."

The store will sell a range of grocery items including pasta, biscuits and beans, but the list of initial products does not include fresh meat, fruit or vegetables.

Sir Stelios, who has run food initiatives through a charitable organisation in Greece and Cyprus, said: "This is another way the easy brand can serve the less well-off.

"Given my experience in distributing food for free in Greece and Cyprus, this is a more commercial attempt to sell basic food for 25p per item to those unwaged or low-waged living around Park Royal."

The pilot store is the latest entry in a fiercely competitive grocery market, with discounters Aldi and Lidl posing challenges for the traditional "big four" of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons.

Retail figures show the market is becoming increasingly polarised with the strongest sales gains coming at the top and bottom ends - with the likes of Waitrose doing well on one side and Aldi and Lidl on the other.

Sir Stelios first announced plans for a pilot site in Croydon in August 2013, saying then that he had "a feeling that there is a gap in the food retail market - a niche below some of the current budget operators such as Aldi and Lidl".

Sir Stelios and his family still own about 35% of easyJet and are the biggest shareholders.

The brand has expanded to easyCar, easyHotel, easyGym and easyProperty.

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