Iceland, the frozen food retailer, has bought 51 former Woolworths stores for an undisclosed sum, with plans to create up to 2,500 new jobs. The news comes just days after the closure of the final Woolworths store.
In a statement, Iceland says is plans to create jobs across the country in the coming year and will form part of its existing new store opening programme. Iceland currently has 682 outlets.
The bulk of the Woolworths stores acquired by Iceland are in the south of England, including 10 in London.
Woolworths was unable to find a buyer for the company after it went into administration in November.
“We are confident we can help to support the local community in these towns that have lost a major high street retailer in Woolworths,” a spokesman for Iceland says.
In August, Iceland made an offer to buy all of Woolworths’ 815 stores but its bid was rejected.
Iceland was founded in 1970 and was bought in 2005 by a consortium led by Baugur.