A spokesperson for frozen foods retailer Iceland has told Retail Intelligence that the retailer's plans to open as many as 50 stores in Ireland over the coming years is "still on track", despite the departure of its international business director, Paul Foley, last week.
While Foley, a former managing director of Aldi UK, held a directorial position at Iceland, the spokesperson confirmed that he was not a full-time employee there: "He wasn't involved in the day to day running of the Irish business, he was more of a consultant to the global expansion of the business."
The spokesperson also told Retail Intelligence that Iceland has "strong management" in place in Ireland, to "carry forward" the retailer's expansion there.
Ian Williamson, a former stores and operations director at Iceland until 2011, has been appointed general manager of the Irish business. Williamson is also managing director of KIW Consultancy, a retail consultancy business.
In his role, Wiliamson will report to Richard Walker of Iceland International.
In December, Foley told Checkout magazine that Iceland, which recently acquired the seven stores operated by franchisee AIM Group here, intends to open as many as 50 stores in Ireland in the coming years.
Commenting on Iceland's recent performance, analyst Clive Black told RI that "Iceland seems to have lost momentum compared to the other deep-discounters that are very much in vogue in the UK & Ireland for whatever reason; Aldi, Farm Foods and Lidl. We do not sense that it has sustained aspired trading momentum in recent months."
© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones