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Iceland Foods buys 51 Woolworths stores

Frozen food chain Iceland Foods Ltd has been revealed as the mystery buyer of 51 Woolworths stores for an undisclosed sum. While it would seem inevitable that some UK retailers would look to pick up cheap properties on the high street, many are surprised that Iceland Foods was the mystery buyer bearing in mind it is owned by Baugur Group, the troubled Icelandic investment group.

When you consider the size of the Woolworths property portfolio we should see a significant number of similar announcements in the weeks to come. The carve up of one of the U.K.'s oldest and best-known retail names has been painful to watch for many and seen upwards of 30,000 employees lose their jobs. On the positive side, Iceland Foods has announced the creation of 2500 job positions in the UK and an ongoing expansion programme which probably reflects the better outlook for the food retail sector.

Lately even though the likes of Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury have performed very well we have seen some of the smaller operators such as Aldi and Iceland Foods reporting substantial sales volume increases as more and more consumers target cheaper food options. The worse the overall UK economy performs the more these companies should come to the fore.

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