The millionaires’ playground of Jersey has become an unlikely target for the discounters, The Grocer has learned.
Politicians are courting leading European discounters such as Aldi, Netto and Lidl in a bid to increase competition.
Senator Philip Ozouf confirmed that representatives of one major discounter had already visited the island and that the delegation had been well received by local officials.
He also said he had been in contact with another discounter regarding the possibility of entering the market.
Jersey currently has three supermarkets - a Co-op, Checkers and Safeway. The latter two are owned by local company CI Traders. Ozouf said: “There has been a lot of concern regarding the power of CI Traders following its takeover of the Safeway store from Morrisons in April.”
In recent months Tesco and Carrefour have been linked with potential investments in Jersey, however Ozouf suggested that Jersey might not be big enough to attract a major multiple.
He said that a discounter could be the perfect fit as Jersey has been dogged by high inflation and a more competitive retailer could help offset the high cost of living on the island.
“There is a lot of pressure on consumers here in terms of taxes and the high price of travelling to and from the island. At the same time, Jersey people also like to see their money go as far as possible.”
Aldi and Netto said they did not comment on speculation.
Ronan Hegarty