Iceland returning to town

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FROZEN foods retailer, Iceland, has this week confirmed that it will be opening a new store in Coleraine before the end of the year.

The company formerly had a store in the Diamond where the M&S shop is now situated.

However speaking to The Coleraine Times this week a spokesperson for the company was unable to confirm the location of the store and how many jobs will be created.

The spokeserson confirmed: “We plan to open at the end of this year, but we don’t have a firm opening date yet, it is too early to confirm how many and which positions will be available at the store, we will have a better idea towards the middle of August.”

The nearest Iceland store is in Ballymena and the company says the new Coleraine operation is in keeping with its UK-wide expansion plans.

The spokeserson went on to explain: “We have decided to return to Coleraine as part of our rapidly expanding new store opening programme.

“We are opening 54 new Iceland stores around the UK over the next 12 months and as we don’t have a store within around 25 mile of Coleraine, we thought it would be a great location not only to expand Iceland as a business within Northern Ireland, but also to increase the choice of food shopping within Coleraine.”

In the year to March 2013 the company opened 36 new Iceland stores, making a net addition of 33 stores after three closures, and ended last year with 790 Iceland stores.

The Group also owns the 57-strong Cooltrader chain, making a Group total of 814 stores.

Over the period 1,250 new jobs were created through new store openings, and the company ended the year with almost 25,000 employees.

Chief Executive Malcolm Walker was named the UK’s Best Leader of a big company in 2012 with 75% of Iceland staff finding him inspirational.