A giant Scottie dog made out of 82,750 Lego bricks has been sitting in the car park of a retail park in Moor Allerton, Leeds, for the past two days after finishing a mini tour of the city.
Its presence – merging, apparently, two of Denmark’s finest exports - marked the opening this morning of the first Netto store in the UK for four years. The discounter sold its stores to Asda back in 2010, but is back for another go as part of a joint venture with Sainsbury’s, promising to bring a “Scandinavian twist” to discounting.
I got a sneak preview of the first store yesterday. In a white organza draped tent that looked suspiciously like a wedding marquee, Per Bank, the CEO of Netto’s Danish owner Dansk Supermarked, told journalists and analysts: “We’re really excited to launch Netto here and together with Sainsbury’s bring something fresh and new to discount retailing in the UK.
“We’re Denmark’s favourite supermarket and with the discount model coming of age in the UK, we believe these new-look stores with their fresh product range will offer something really unique for British customers.”
The giant Lego dog has certainly help drum up excitement for the new store – there’s been countless selfies posted all over social media for the past week – but there’s also genuine excitement Netto is back.
One consumer posted on thegrocer.co.uk today: “Brilliant. Should never have sold out in first place. When will we get a store in Wakefield?”
Our story back in the summer on where in the north Netto hopes to open its 15 trial stores has also generated a flurry of responses today from consumers asking for stores in locations ranging from Newcastle to Dagenham. But Netto 2.0 is very different to the Netto that left the UK in 2010. Instead of relying on weekly non-food deals, the ‘new Netto’ has made fruit and vegetables and bakery ‘hero categories’ right at the front of the store. The popular non-food deals are still there – called ‘spot deals’ – but they will sit alongside weekly food promos too. There’s also 100 branded products, and good, better and best tiering.
Now that the first store is up and running, Dansk and Sainsbury’s will be hoping shoppers vote with their feet and show there’s room in the ultra-competitive UK grocery market for another discounter.