Value retail chain 99p Stores yesterday announced that it is to introduce freezers to its stores as it aims to become a ‘one-stop-shop’ for bargain-hungry consumers.
This is a strategic move as the company seeks to take on traditional ‘mainly frozen’ retailers by stocking leading brands such as Findus, McCain, Ross and Young’s.
The group’s Commercial Director, Hussein Lalani, explained that the freezers will be introduced into stores nationwide this week and next.
“We’re really excited about this. We have been running chillers for nearly two years and off the back of this success we thought we would introduce a frozen range,” he explained.
“Lots of our customers have been asking: ‘You have the chillers, the milk, the bread, the eggs – if you had frozen food I wouldn’t have to go anywhere else’. So we are obliging – happily.”
A new focus on frozen food offerings follows news earlier this year that the discount chain was fined £14,000 plus costs after being found guilty of food hygiene offences including a mice infestation in its Camden High Street store.
This has not deterred the retailer from eyeing expansion as it continues to grow in popularity during these austere times.
In the next few weeks, a number of 99p Stores and Family Bargains are to open, including one in the heart of Leeds city centre, beside upmarket grocer Waitrose.
Lalani believes that such developments are narrowing the gap between the pinched and the prosperous.
“The high street has now morphed,” he added.
“There are no ‘no go’ areas for any shopper, affluent or not. The high street has become truly democratic.”