Iceland to spend 5m on revamp

Frozen food retailer Iceland, well-known for its stance against genetically-modified foods, is to spend an extra 5m marketing its new-look position as a progressive and unconventional retailer.

This will include additional advertising through agency HHCL & Partners.

The original 10m advertising account, which HHCL won last October leading to the new Feel the Deal advertising launched last month, will be boosted with store redesigns, extra point of sale material and presentations to staff. A spokesman says the money will be spent on ensuring the new image, generated after a consultancy project by HHCL, will be communicated effectively throughout its 700 stores.

Joint managing director Russell Ford revealed the extra spend as the company reported a 27 per cent increase in pre-tax profits from 43.5m to 55.1m on sales up 11 per cent to 1.7bn. Like-for-like sales were up 12 per cent, well ahead of the industry average.

Chairman Malcolm Walker says the company’s performance was in large part due to Iceland’s progressive stance on green issues, particularly on genetically-modified foods. Iceland was the first multiple retailer to ban genetically-modified from its own-label lines. It has since announced plans to ban foods containing artificial colours and flavouring.

Ford adds that the search for a buying and marketing director, begun when he was promoted from the position to joint managing director last October, is continuing despite interviewing a number of applicants.

“We haven’t found the calibre of person we are seeking for such a diverse role,” he says.

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