Outlook: Iceland a go-go
Wednesday 08 September 1999
Three years on and sales and profits are booming, the shares are at an all-time high of 310p and it has pulled off a string of bold initiatives that have energised the business and put competitors to shame. In these days of global reach and sector consolidation, Iceland has shown it is possible to survive and thrive as a smaller, high street, domestic player.
Much of the credit for this recovery must go to Mr Walker himself. A former Woolworths manager who set up Iceland from a single store in Oswestry in 1970, he is a genuine entrepreneur rather than a corporate suit and he has been able to steal a march on a number of fronts.
One was home delivery. It was in 1997 that Iceland pressed the button on a national roll-out of its home delivery service when rivals like Tesco were playing around with a few stores. Then came the pro-active stance on GM Foods, with Iceland the first to ban GM ingredients from its own-label range. It is now promising to remove artificial colourings and flavourings while also launching Britain's first free nationwide Internet home shopping service.
And where next? Things could get tougher with Sainsbury's moving into the convenience store market. A major price move by the Wal-Mart-owned Asda would also take the wind out of Iceland's sales. Even so, the record would suggest Mr Walker is easily capable of dreaming up a fresh set initiatives to keep Iceland from melting.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...