EasyJet founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has announced the launch of a pilot grocer in Croydon, called easyFoodstore.
In a statement Haji-Ioannou said: “I have a feeling there is a gap in the food retail market – a niche below some of the current budget operators such as Aldi and Lidl.”
According to the entrepreneur, the shop will sell non-branded canned and packed goods, offering shoppers “reliable day-to-day provision of basic foodstuffs”.
The pilot store will be launched on the ground floor of an easyGroup nine-storey building on Addiscombe Road, Croydon. The domain www.easyfoodstore.com was recently trademarked by Haji-Ioannou, and leads to a blog outlining his plans with the phrase “coming soon” displayed on the page.
“I was surprised how much interest the mere registration of a trademark and a URL has attracted, especially considering easyGroup owns thousands of ‘easy’ trademarks and ‘easy’ URLs often for defensive purposes,” said Haji-Ioannou. He added that the top three floors of the building will be converted into an easyHotel, with a couple of the lower floors rented as short-term office space via easyOffice.co.uk.
The Cypriot-born businessman added: “I hope that a commercially viable venture, offering affordable food will help many people in need, as well as produce a viable return for the capital employed.”
Should the pilot prove a success, more stores will be opened throughout 2014.