Iceland’s supermarket will permanently close half a dozen stores in a matter of days… so is your local store at risk?
- The chain has more than 500 stores in Iceland and 153 Food Warehouse stores in the UK.
- The first store closings will occur on Saturday, February 25, with more in March
Iceland has revealed that it will permanently close several of its stores across the UK from the next few days.
The supermarket has confirmed that at least six stores will close their doors permanently in February and March, and the first will close from this Saturday.
It means some customers are quickly faced with having to change their shopping habits as their local branches move off the high street.
The firm, which has more than 500 branches in Iceland and 153 Food Warehouse stores in the UK, has not explained why it will close the stores.
It comes as many big brands look to cut costs amid rampant inflation and a cost-of-living crisis that has seen energy bills skyrocket and customers buckle down to save money.
Iceland has announced that it will close half a dozen stores in the south of England and Wales in the coming weeks. Pictured: A plaque from the Iceland Market in London
Six stores are confirmed to close permanently, and it is reported that it is not yet known whether the staff working in them will be at risk of being laid off.
The first two stores to close will be branches on Mill Lane, Bromsgrove and Chineham Shopping Center in Basingstoke, with both closing their doors for God’s sake on Saturday 25th February.
This will be followed next month by a series of stores in the south of England and Wales, Sun.
The full list of closures and when they will happen is as follows:
- Mill Lane, Bromsgrove – February 25
- Chipenham Shopping Centre, Basingstoke – February 25
- White Rose Centre, Rhyl – March 14
- South Street, Newport, Isle of Wight – March 25
- St Catherine’s Place, Bedminster, Bristol – March 25
- Deiniol Centre, Bangor – March 27
A spokesperson for Iceland told the publication: “We continually review our portfolio of Iceland Foods and The Food Warehouse stores to ensure we offer the best experiences for our customers across the country.”
Iceland, which specializes in frozen foods but has branched out in recent years to broaden its offering, posted an operating loss of £4m for the six months to September.
That month, his boss, Richard Walker, warned that he had been forced to put new store openings on hold due to a £20m rise in his energy bills.
Walker said his group was “fighting to keep the lights on” and called for a cap on energy prices for British companies. The staggering increase in bills has left many retailers concerned about their ability to stay open beyond winter.
Walker said Iceland was bearing the brunt of rising prices more than other supermarkets due to its reliance on food storage in fridges and freezers.
He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We have to make decisions because we have this unmanageable volatility. In some cases, it might be easier to close stores or close them temporarily because energy costs are completely unsustainable.’
Walker, who took over from his father, Malcolm, in 2018, said high energy prices, wage inflation and labor shortages had left Iceland facing its worst crisis in more than half a century.
Iceland isn’t the only brand looking to save money by closing some of its stores, with other big names like Marks & Spencer and H&M reducing their presence on the high street.
M&S revealed last week that it will close more than half a dozen stores as it battles rising energy costs, having previously announced it would close 67 larger stores as it looks to open more of its popular Foodhalls.
The brand confirmed that stores would close in East Kilbride, Castleford, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Wrexham, Middlesbrough and Bolton.
In late January, H&M announced it was closing stores in Hartlepool and the Isle of Wight, saying it “cannot ignore” a “rapid change in customer behaviour”.
The company’s profits were nearly wiped out in the September-November quarter by high costs, which the Swedish company refrained from passing on in full to cash-strapped clients.
The world’s second largest fashion chain, which raised some prices, will continue with this pricing strategy although it will not fully offset higher costs such as energy, transportation and raw materials.