FRIDAY 9 AUG 2013 3:32 PM


Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of the ‘easyBrand’ business group, announced last week that he is planning to open his own largely ‘brand-less’ food store, imaginatively dubbed ‘easyFood Store’.

This latest project for the billionaire has drawn confusion over choice of location for his first venture into food retail – the ground floor of a vacant office block opposite East Croydon station, South London, which he says it to be filled with a range of ‘easyBrand’ businesses.

Sir Stelios says, “The top three floors will be converted into our very popular easyHotel brand, with a couple of the lower floors rented out as short term office space via There is an option to use a further two floors to house an easyGym.” 

This has prompted wide press speculation that the ‘easyBrand’ has been taken too far and as such, spread too thin as other services like easyCar, easyBus and easyGym have been slated by consumers in online reviews and sales have failed to reach their projected targets.

The store’s intended philosophy is to sell mostly brand-less, basic grocery items such as tinned food and washing powder, at prices cheaper than those to be found at the likes of potential competitors Aldi and Lidl. Sir Stelios has decided that the items, expected to number between 50 and 100, are to be sourced from wholesalers rather than making the decision to partner with an experienced food retailer.

Bill Grimsey, a veteran trader, explains that the initial advantage of Stelios’s easyJet brand was that it was the first of its kind, considerably cheaper than every other business in the airline sector. However, easyFood Store, which has established and successful competitors, may be too late to the low-price supermarket game.

Sir Stelios explains that his primary inspiration for his new retail venture was taken from the success of his charitable food distribution programme. ‘Food from the Heart’ is an initiative set up by Stelios that entails the handing out of cheese and salami sandwiches at lunchtime in Limassol, a large city in his native Cyprus.

He explains, “I realized that food is the most fundamental need for a person. In difficult economic times, people's priorities change and they might be willing to do something that secures for them the lowest possible weekly food bill."