Iceland calls in consultant for new focus

Iceland frozen food stores has appointed a management consultant to take on the new role of director for trading strategy and marketing, amid fears that the chain’s strategic direction is floundering.

Mark Hudson joins in May from Bain & Co, the consultancy which has advised Iceland on its direction during the past year.

Analysts say the appointment signals a refocus on frozen foods at the chain, after its foray into fresh and chilled foods. At the company’s last results presentation it admitted it had “taken its eye off the ball” by concentrating too much on convenience foods.

However, it is thought Iceland could now be pursuing a dual strategy, with its 40-plus concessions in Littlewoods stores maintaining their emphasis on fresh and ambient foods, while the remaining 690 stores concentrate on frozen foods. The Littlewoods concessions have been called a “poor man’s Marks & Spencer”.

The chain’s frozen food sales are understood to have grown over the past six months, compared to a dip in the previous year. It is believed to have put in a large order for freezers, marking a new emphasis on frozen foods.

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