Supermarket Iceland plans to roll out 25 new stores this year including a 10,000 sq ft site in Trafford.
The company’s chief executive Malcolm Walker said that although the grocery sector was going through a “very tough” period, Iceland would continue to expand creating 2,000 jobs in the process.
The new Greater Manchester site will open as Iceland’s new store format, The Food Warehouse, at Trafford Peel Retail Park next Tuesday, targeting families, bulk buyers, and those in the catering or hospitality business.
The retailer has signed a 10 year lease at the popular retail park, adjacent to the Trafford Centre.
Kevin Keigher, asset and development manager of Trafford Peel Retail Park, said: “The addition of The Food Warehouse to our mix of retail and food and beverage already offered at Trafford Peel Retail Park, strengthens our offer, enabling us to further meet customer demand.
“Whilst The Food Warehouse is a relatively new retailer, we’ve been impressed by their ability to build upon the successful frozen ranges of Iceland whilst offering a wide range of chilled, fresh and branded grocery goods.”
The supermarket’s Food Warehouse stores combine a cash-and-carry format and the traditional Iceland style.
Iceland’s property team is hunting for other suitable locations across the country.
The decision comes amid a period of unrest in the supermarket sector, with Britain’s so-called Big Four - Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons - losing ground to German duo Aldi and Lidl.
In addition, a price war and food price deflation has eroded profit margins.
Iceland has not been immune from the turmoil and has moved to launch the new store format and revamped its product ranges.
Last year the company’s like-for-like sales fell 4.4% while earnings plummeted from £200m to £150m.
Mr Walker said that the changes were beginning to “have an impact” but refused to be drawn on what Iceland’s numbers would look like when it reports for the full year in June.
With the additional 25 stores, Iceland will have over 900 stores worldwide.