Following recent press speculation concerning the registration of easyfoodstore.com as a trademark and setting up of a holding website, easyGroup Chairman Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou recently clarified the nature and scope of this new brand extension in a statement.
Mr. Haji-Ioannou said that he got interested in the food retailing business by recent press stories covering the widespread use of food banks by the needy and his own experience with the 'food from the heart'charitable program operated by his philanthropic foundation in Cyprus.
The Group is planning to operate an Easy Foodstore to cover a need that Mr. Hadji-Ioannou identifies as a niche below some of the current budget operators such as Aldi and Lidl. It will begin as a pilot store from an already acquired freehold property in South London, as a low-risk experiment in a new market sector for easyGroup.
Mr. Haji-Ioannou explained: “It should be seen in context of our recent acquisition of the old Metlife office block in Addiscombe Rd, Croydon, CR9 5AZ, (a nine-story building) to house a number of “easy” branded businesses. The top three floors will be converted into our very popular easyHotel brand, with a couple of the lower floors rented out as short term office space viaeasyOffice.co.uk. There is an option to use a further two floors to house an easyGym.
“The ground floor will provide a site for a low risk pilot store easyFoodstore. 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 of basic foodstuffs. No other details have yet been decided.
“If the pilot site shows there is a need for this offering, easyfoodstore could be rolled out on a wider basis from 2014 onwards using freehold retail sites - buying into the weaker real estate prices in that sector. 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”.