Iceland targets ‘convenience’ with new format

Date : 15 March 2021

Patrick Mitchell-Fox

Senior Retail Analyst

UK frozen food specialist retailer Iceland has confirmed that it is opening a trial store in a new format under the name ‘Swift’. The full proposed specification and plan can be seen in the planning application (see below).

Promises fuller grocery range and a ‘fresh, fast and local’ shopping experience

Launching on 18 March at Four Lane Ends, Longbenton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the store promises to be a significant departure from established Iceland formats, with a different layout and feel, plus a focus on targeting food-for-now, as well as food-for-later, shopper missions.

Sited in a unit formerly traded as an Iceland store, the new Swift format will offer a range twice the size of the core Iceland proposition, with additional coverage in grocery and chilled categories as well as including typical convenience footfall drivers such as tobacco and a coffee machine. As shown in the Newcastle City planning application documents the addition of an extra aisle gives the new store almost three times the linear merchandising area of the old Iceland store.

The format will also seek to breakdown the traditional separation of frozen and chilled merchandising zones, with a closer integration of chilled and frozen fixtures, encouraging a wider palette of shopping. Checkouts will include a manned kiosk point as well two self-service units.

Matt Downes, Head of Space and Format Development at Iceland, commented:

‘This is a really exciting trial of a completely new concept that we think will be ideally suited to this high traffic location. We believe that the much wider range on offer, Swift’s commitment to faster and easier shopping, and the leveraging of group buying power to ensure great value, will all make this a convenience store with outstanding customer appeal.’