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Stelios Haji-Ioannou to take on budget supermarkets

Stelios Haji-Ioannou to take on budget supermarkets

The founder of Easyjet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has confirmed that he is planning to start a largely brandless budget supermarket.

The venture has already been given the name Easy Foodstore, and will mainly look to occupy a perceived niche one step down from current low-priced stores such as Aldi and Lidl.

Recent figures on the UK food retail market cited by the BBC have suggested that there is a growing trend of polarisation, with chains at both the very bottom and top of the market appearing to perform well.

At the upper end, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer appear to have remained strong, while Aldi and Lidl are seeing solid levels of growth at the lower end of the market.

A site in Croydon has already been identified as a potential location for the new store, while a website has also been launched.

If the pilot store was to be successful, it could then be rolled out to areas all over the country.

In a press statement, Mr Haji-Ioannou admitted that he was surprised at the level of attention that the registering of the website had caused.

He added that his reasons for wanting to get into food retail were mainly motivated by the number of recent stories in the press about the rise of food banks, as well as his own experiences with the Food From The Heart charitable program, which is operated by Sir Stelios' foundation in Cyprus.

"Concentrating on affordable, basic 'no-brand-name' packet and tinned foods at bargain prices, easyFoodstore underlines the need for additional reliable day-to-day provision ofbasic foodstuffs. No other details have yet been decided," he said.

He added: "I hope that a commercially viable venture offering affordable food will help many people in need as well as produce a viable return for the capital employed."

The pilot store will be part of a nine-storey building, which will also contain an EasyGym and EasyHotel, as well as office space.


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