Iceland is to understood to be trialling the Cooltrader format at five underperforming stores, with a view to rolling it out to 100 outlets if it proves a hit.
Cooltrader is the frozen food chain set up by Iceland boss Malcolm Walker after he was ousted in 2001. However, it was bought by Icelandic investment firm Baugur about the same time as it acquired the Big Food Group and reinstated Walker at the helm of Iceland.
The Cooltrader chain already comprises 20 stores. Walker had previously indicated that its Oswestry warehouse had the capacity to service 100 stores.
The move coincides with confirmation that Iceland is
ditching its loss-making home shopping service. At its peak, Iceland was making 80,000 deliveries a week with the average orders exceeding £40.
However, Walker said he could no longer justify investment of money or management time. “Our core business is also performing badly and the focus of the new senior management team must be on turning that round.”
It will continue to offer free home delivery on goods bought in-store worth more than £25.