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Easygroup looks to open budget supermarket chain

image captionStelios got the idea from the recent publicity surrounding food banks

The founder of Easyjet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is to launch a low-cost grocery business, aimed at undercutting the likes of Aldi and Lidl.

Sir Stelios's Easygroup announced plans to open a pilot store in Croydon, south London, which, if successful, would be rolled out more widely next year.

He said there was a gap in the food retail market.

The new business, Easyfoodstore, will focus on a limited range of tinned and packaged foods.

Recent figures on the UK food retail market point to a growing trend of polarisation.

Supermarkets at the top and bottom end of the pricing scale are faring the best in terms of sales.

Waitrose and Marks & Spencer do well at the top end, whereas the budget supermarkets, Aldi and Lidl, are seeing strong growth at the budget end.

Food banks

Sir Stelios said he got the idea after seeing the recent widespread publicity concerning food banks.

"Concentrating on affordable, basic 'no-brand-name' packet and tinned foods at bargain prices, easyFoodstore underlines the need for additional reliable day-to-day provision of basic foodstuffs. No other details have yet been decided," he said.

The pilot store is expected to open in a recently acquired nine-storey building in Croydon in south London, which will also be used for other Easygroup businesses, including Easyhotel and Easygym.

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