Frozen food retailer Iceland is launching what it claims is the world’s first free nationwide Internet shopping delivery service.
The move comes as the chain reveals plans to expand its Extra convenience store trial.
Iceland chief executive Malcolm Walker has attempted to differentiate the retailer from larger rivals by taking the lead on genetically modified (GM) foods and by focusing on home delivery. He claims the delivery service will be the first of its kind.
Walker says the new Net delivery service, icelandfreeshop, will have a minimum order of &£40 and will cover 97 per cent of the UK population. The service launches on October 4.
He adds: “There will be no need to promote the new service because it has national coverage and secondly it is free. None of our rivals can offer that.”
Iceland this week reported a 24 per cent increase in interim pre-tax profits to &£29.2m, on sales up 11 per cent to &£925.6m for the period six months to July 3. It also announced it has opened a further 19 of its Extra convenience stores with a view to expanding the chain.
Walker says: “There could be 70 or 770 of these stores, at the moment, we don’t know which. We will make a decision next March.”
The new stores bring the number of Iceland Extras in the 768-store chain to 25.