EasyFoodstore, a new supermarket that charges 25p for everyday groceries in north-west London, has had to temporarily close down after running out of stock just two days after opening. The latest project from Easyjet's founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, many customers could not believe at the opening that items such as oil, tea, soup and biscuits were sold for only 25p. As a result, many packed their grocery bags, leaving the stock at the store quickly depleted.
One customer of the shop was particularly happy with the price of a jar of instant coffee. They said: "Where I am you pay £1.97 for it. In the local shop it would be £1.97. I've got a freedom pass, I come here, I can get eight for that."
EasyFoodstore sells a range of 76 grocery items including pasta, biscuits and beans but does not sell fresh meat, fruit or vegetables. Richard Shackleton, communications director at Easygroup Ltd, explained that this was because keeping costs low was their main concern.
"If you want healthy food there are plenty of people that will supply. What we are providing is basic food stuff that people like. We're not here to teach to them or to preach to them about lifestyle. We're here to provide cheap food," he said.
For Richard Perks, a retail analyst, the store benefits from its novelty and its low prices but will soon face bigger challenges. He said: "It just doesn't seem to relate to how the market has moved in recent years. Most people these days would want a rather more pleasant store environment, and they certainly want fresh food. It's a very important part of the mix at the moment, it's not just canned and package.
"I think they'd want a bigger range too. I mean, fine to come in here, pick up a few products then go on. And they're also up against people like Poundland, B&M, Home Bargains, who have good, solid canned and packaged grocery ranges as well."
EasyFoodstore plans to sell items for 25p throughout February as an introductory offer but prices will then go up, even if they are expected to remain low.The store plans to replenish stock and open again on 5 February.