Iceland launches new fresh food convenience stores – first shop opening tomorrow

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Iceland is launching a new convenience store chain which is set to sell more fresh food, as well as frozen foods and ready-meals. The chain’s first branch will open in Newcastle for the first time tomorrow.

The first swift store will open in a former Iceland unit in Longbenton, Newcastle.

At 1,700 square feet it is far smaller than most Iceland stores which are about 5,000 square feet.

However, Swift stores will sell around 3,000 items, from ready meals and frozen foods to food on-the-go and fresh foods.

The layout promises to break down traditional divides between frozen and chilled food, the retailer said.

A spokesperson for Iceland said that the store’s concept is “entirely new” and it is “designed to provide a simple, easy-to-shop food store with the watchwords: fresh, fast, local”.

Iceland’s Head of Space and Format Development, Matt Downes, added: “This is a really exciting trial of a completely new concept that we think will be ideally suited to this high-traffic location.

“We believe the much wider range on offer, Swift’s commitment to faster and easier shopping, and the leveraging of group buying power to ensure great value, will all make this a convenience store with outstanding customer appeal.”

Home delivery will also be offered in the store, according to Bryan Roberts, an independent retail analyst at

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Mr Roberts said: “Iceland hasn’t really had the range or the reputation to carry out convenience.

“Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local are very much focused on food for now, food for later. It makes sense to start a new brand for the convenience market,” he added.

“They’ve got a large number of [Iceland] stores in attractive locations, and this could be a better way of using some of their smaller stores.

“If it does well, it opens up a whole new opportunity for expansion.”

Managing Director of Iceland, Richard Walker, tweeted a photo of himself in front of the new Swift store on Monday.

In the photo’s caption, Mr Walker said: “An exciting week ahead.”

Swift also has a Twitter account, with the handle @swiftstoresuk, but it has not yet posted anything.

Iceland’s new launch comes a fortnight after Amazon opened its first physical store outside of the US in Ealing, west London.

In other Iceland news, the retailer is introducing more foods to its Easter range from March 24.

Included in the range will be a trio of £10 meats: the Iceland Luxury Aberdeen Angus Roasting Beef Joint, Iceland Lamb Leg Joint, and Iceland Maple Gammon Joint.

To accompany the meats, bags of vegetables will also be on sale, with prices starting from 60p.

Shoppers will be able to pick up Iceland British Carrots for 60p, Iceland Roast Potatoes for £1, Iceland Tenderstem Broccoli for £1, and much more.

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