Single-price discounter 99p Stores is taking on frozen food specialist Iceland by selling frozen food for the first time.
In a bid to turn itself into a one-stop shop, the rapidly-expanding chain started installing freezers stocked with brands such as McCain, Findus and Young’s this week.
“I’m really excited about this,” said commercial director and co-founder Hussein Lalani. “We have been running chillers for nearly two years and off the back of that success we thought we would introduce the frozen range. Lots of customers said, ‘You have the chillers, the milk, the bread, the eggs if you had frozen food I wouldn’t have to go anywhere else’.
“So, hopefully, we have now become a one-stop shop. Our ultimate aim is to provide as full a service as we can.”
Rival Poundworld recently mooted the idea of a frozen range, but has not yet introduced an offer.
“At 99p Stores we pride ourselves on innovation and getting to the market ahead of anyone else,” Lalani said. “We make decisions a lot more quickly than other companies. We don’t have many levels of management, we own the business and we don’t have to check with anyone before we make a move.”
If the demand was there, 99p Stores would consider expanding the frozen range, he added. “This is our launch range,” he said. “We are only putting one freezer in each shop initially, but in our metropolitan stores the demand for chillers was so high we put in another to keep up with demand. We will operate on a similar principle here.”
The frozen food range will sell for 99p or less.