Consumer Staples

36¢ food store shuts as stock runs out

Shoppers queue to pay for their goods at the 'easyFoodstore' in north-west London on February 2, 2016.
Leon Neal | AFP| Getty Images

An ultra-discount food store opened by the owner of budget airline easyJet earlier this week was forced to close on Thursday after high demand emptied its shelves.

The easyFoodstore, which formally launched a pilot outlet in north west London on Tuesday, issued a statement announcing it would not open on Thursday, following a flurry of media coverage that sent customers flocking to its new location.

Shoppers bought about two weeks' worth of stock within two days, easyGroup told CNBC.

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"Unfortunately our usual suppliers are unable to meet the demand in order to restock the shop again fully until Friday," a statement on their website explained.

All 76 items in store were put on sale for a promotion price of 25 pence (36 cents), meaning shoppers could buy one of every item and still leave the store spending less than £20 ($29.32).

After February those prices are likely to be raised to around 50 pence, aiming to take advantage of a middle market above food bank prices and below those offered by discount grocers like Aldi and Lidl that have already caused a stir in the British food retail market.

Richard Shackleton, the director of communications for easyGroup said that, had they anticipated the rush of customers, they would have had more stock to hand and perhaps considered a bigger store.

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"It demonstrates that the demand is there and the concept is valid. Now, obviously we're going to have to go away and at the end of the month assess how much our 25 pence opening offer was worth and what the price point really needs to be in terms of going forward," he told CNBC by phone.

One they've completed a financial viability test, easyFoodstores will be looking to expand to south east London. However, Shackleton said the group has already been approached by businesses outside of the capital who are interested in setting up a franchise and rebranding their own stores.

For now, easyFoodstore's pilot shop is restocking, with plans to reopen at 9am on Friday.

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