EasyJet founder launches discount retail chain

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Stelios Haji-Ioannou is also a major shareholder in easyJet
Stelios Haji-Ioannou is also a major shareholder in easyJet
EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has announced plans for a largely brandless UK discount food chain, dubbed easyFoodstore, to occupy a niche one step down from Aldi and Lidl.

The entrepreneur revealed proposals for a pilot site in Croydon, while a website, www.easyfoodstore.com​, has already been set up.

In a press statement, he claimed the prevalence of foodbanks had inspired the idea.

"...My interest in the food retailing business was sparked by recent press stories covering the widespread use of foodbanks by the needy and my own experience with the 'food from the heart' charitable program operated by my philanthropic foundation in Cyprus."

Haji-Ioannou planned to open the first store in an office block his easyGroup company had secured in Addiscombe Road, Croydon, which would also house branches of his easyGym, easyOffice and easyHotel ventures.

Sites for further stores

“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,"​ he explained.

"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 producing a viable return for the capital employed.”

Emergency food support

Food banks have been springing up across the UK in recent years, aiming to offer free emergency food support for a minimum of three days to people living below the poverty line.

Food is either provided via local charity campaigns based on collections from individuals or even supermarkets.

Haji-Ioannou is a major shareholder in easyJet. Other businesses include car rental concern easyCar, takeaway pizza arm easyPizza and van rental outfit easyVan.

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