Iceland MD halts planned store openings as energy bills soar

Iceland managing director, Richard Walker has put a halt on the frozen food retailers planned store openings as its latest energy bill hit a £20 million increase.

As a result, Walker said Iceland is “fighting to keep the lights on”, with other retailers also concerned about trading this winter due to the excessively high and growing energy costs.

Looking for an energy price cap for UK businesses, he’s also calling on No 10 to prepare an immediate cost-of-living package for retailers struggling.

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Walker told The Guardian, he is worried that a “half-baked response” from the next Prime Minister, who is to be announced today, 5 September, will not address people’s needs.

Addressing Liz Truss’ plans to cut business rates for small and medium sized businesses, he said: “What they need to understand is [this affects] big businesses as well as small because it’s exactly the same trouble we’re in – there’s just more jobs at stake.”

For Iceland, its dependency on fridges and freezers to store its frozen food has seen its energy bills rise higher than other UK supermarkets.

Iceland’s £19 million energy bill price rise in the first quarter suggests the retailer’s bill will more than double this year.

This comes as from 1 October, the average household’s yearly bill will jump from £1,971 to £3,549, with a total of 24 million households to be affected by the energy price cap rise.

In helping its shoppers through the cost-of-living crisis, Iceland announced a loan scheme which allows customers to apply for “affordable micro loans” between £25 and £100 to pay for groceries.



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