Logo since January 1, 2001
|Founded||1970, Malcolm Walker|
|Headquarters||Deeside, Flintshire, Wales|
|Number of locations||814 (March 2012)|
Iceland is a Welsh supermarket chain operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Iceland's primary product lines include frozen foods, such as frozen prepared meals and frozen vegetables. The company has an approximate 1.8% share of the UK food market.
Iceland began business in 1970, when Malcolm Walker opened the first store in Oswestry, Shropshire with his business partner Peter Hinchcliffe investing £60 for one month's rent at their Shropshire store. They were still employees of Woolworths at the time, and their employment was terminated once their employer discovered their job on the side. Iceland initially specialised in loose frozen food.
By 1975, there were 15+ Iceland outlets in North Wales, with the first supermarket-style outlet opening in Manchester a couple of years later. The firm's head office moved to Deeside, Flintshire in 1979. Iceland was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1984, by which stage it had 81 outlets.
In 1989 Iceland bought its competitor Bejam which was some three times larger in terms of business. By February 2004, the combined chain had 760 stores throughout the United Kingdom.
Iceland operates in the Republic of Ireland through a franchisee, AIM Group, which has announced plans to have 40 stores operating in Ireland by 2014. There are currently 9 stores in Ireland.
Finding the retail market more hostile in the late 1990s, Iceland pursued avenues for differentiation. In 1998, the firm began to focus on providing organic food and genetically modified-free food. This policy saw the company convert its entire frozen vegetable range to organic in 2000.
In 1999, Iceland launched what it claimed to be the first nationwide, free, online grocery shopping service. This tied in with the rebranding of all outlets under the Iceland.co.uk fascia. The rebranding exercise was quietly abandoned in the early 2000s, as the unadorned Iceland name is now used more widely, although some stores still have the Iceland.co.uk name on display.
In 2000 Iceland merged with Booker plc with Booker's Stuart Rose taking the role of CEO of the merged company. He left for the Arcadia Group within a few months. He was replaced by Bill Grimsey in January 2001.
Soon after Grimsey's appointment Malcolm Walker, Iceland's founder & Chairman, was forced to stand down as it was revealed he had sold £13.5 million of Iceland shares five weeks before the company released the first of several profits warnings. Walker was not fully cleared of these allegations until October 2004.
Big Food Group 
Iceland's holding company was renamed the Big Food Group in February 2002, and attempted a refocus on the convenience sector with a bid for Londis. Grimsey remained until the takeover and demerger of the Big Food Group by a consortium led by the Icelandic company, Baugur Group in February 2005. Walker returned to his previous role at Iceland. Under Walker's control Iceland's website contains pages of polemic against Grimsey's period in control.
After Baugur Group collapsed in 2009, a 77% stake in Iceland came into the ownership of the Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir. In 2012 the stake was purchased by a consortium including Malcolm Walker and Graham Kirkham. 
Iceland was one of the many major retailers who took advantage of the Enterprise Zone incentives offered by the giant Merry Hill Shopping Centre which was developed at Brierley Hill in the West Midlands between 1985 and 1990. It opened a store there in 1989, relocating from Dudley town centre, only for this store to close a decade or so later.
In 1996, six stores were opened in Dublin and one in Letterkenny. They all closed down in 2005 owing to financial difficulties. In November 2008, a store reopened in Ballyfermot in Dublin, after Iceland agreed a franchise deal with an Irish cash and carry company, AIM, and in November 2009 a second store reopened in Finglas, Dublin. A third opened on the Navan Road in September 2010. A fourth store opened in the Ilac Centre in Dublin in November 2010. There are now five Iceland stores in Ireland. In November 2010 AIM announced plans to launch 40 new stores within 4 years.
Since Malcolm Walker's return to the company, Iceland has reduced the workforce by 500 jobs at the Deeside Head Office, with approximately 300 jobs moved in September as a result of a relocation of a distribution warehouse from Deeside to Warrington. During July 2006, 300 workers took industrial action with the support of their union, blocking several lorries from entering the depot. Despite this, the transfer to Warrington took place and the new warehouse was later outsourced to DHL in April 2007.
In January 2009, Iceland announced that it would buy 51 stores in the UK from the failed Woolworths Group chain, three days after the final 200 Woolworths stores closed their doors for the last time.
In April 2009, Iceland announced plans to close its appliance showrooms by September 2009 to concentrate on food retailing
Iceland's sales for the year ended 27 March 2009 were £2.08 billion, a 16% increase on the previous year, with net profits of £113.7 million.
The company has recently made large scale changes to the kinds of promotions it offers on products. In the past "Buy One Get One Free" and Meal Deals (a selection of products for a set price) were common in stores, although these have now been reduced and replaced with products offering bigger packs at the original prices. The pricing system has also been changed with many products having their prices rounded up or down to the nearest multiple of 25p (e.g. £1.29 becomes £1.25), this is known as Clear Cut Prices and aims to simplify the pricing system.
2006 also saw a huge surge in 'Home Delivery' promotion. This service is now one of the main focuses of the company. When a customer spends £25 or more on their shopping they have the option of free same-day home delivery.
On 6 October 2008, Iceland officially launched their "Bonus Card", a loyalty card and an advanced replacement for the original home delivery card, after successfully trialling the scheme in some regions of the UK. Customers who register for the new card receive offers and vouchers from time to time, also whenever the card is used in store the customer is entered into a monthly prize draw to win one of 50 £100 Iceland Vouchers (a total giveaway of £5,000 in vouchers to a combined 50 customers per store), as well as several other prizes, including in store instant reward, trolley dashes, holidays and cars.
Identity and marketing 
The supermarket historically advertised with the slogan Mums Love It, which was changed to Are we doing a deal or are we doing a deal? and Feel the deal in the early 2000s. From the mid-2000s new ads featuring television personality Kerry Katona saw a return to a slogan more traditionally associated with Iceland - So that's why mums go to Iceland!. Their slogans have often been parodied.
When the chain bought rival Bejam in 1989, they launched the TV-advertising campaign "Use Our Imagination," which included a song. The campaign was launched so quickly after the takeover that they had not time to convert all Bejam stores to the "Iceland" fascia. Because of this in the song for the commercial featured the line "We're at Bejam's too..."
Iceland staff received new uniforms in June 2007. The uniform consists of a red polo shirt with an orange band on the collar and sleeves, A black nylon jacket with the Iceland logo embroidered on it and black trousers.
Another new uniform went live on 1 March 2011. It consists of a black shirt with orange, red and grey coloured stripes running down it and the Iceland logo embroidered on the sleeve, black and orange nylon fleeces and gilets with the logo embroidered, and black jeans. The new delivery drivers' uniform also consists of a large waterproof bomber jacket with the logo on the back, a baseball cap or 'beanie' hat and a striped scarf. Supervisors' uniform consists of black suit trousers and a silvery-grey shirt, and store managers have the addition of a suit jacket and red tie.
However, two labs, one in Dublin and another in Germany, on behalf of the Irish state agency FSAI, have identified 0.1% equine DNA in some Iceland products. Malcolm Walker caused controversy and appeared to show xenophobia towards those of Irish descent, when on a BBC Panorama program (18th of February 2013) he tried to deflect attention from results by using the phrase "Well, that's the Irish, isn't it?"  Iceland continued to display large posters in its British shop windows describing a DNA test by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) as not accredited, despite apologising for earlier criticism of the tests.
Mr Walker had been asked to explain why Iceland burgers passed British tests for equine DNA but failed the Irish ones.
The FSAI hit back at Mr Walker and warned that any attempt to cast doubt on the veracity and robustness of DNA testing carried on its behalf is disingenuous, dishonest and untruthful.
Chief executive Professor Alan Reilly said: "It is unprofessional that a vested interest would seek to undermine our position with misinformation and speculation.
"Science underpins all policies and actions undertaken by the FSAI." 
See also 
- "Store Locations". Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Iceland seeks cooler image with online rebranding www.guardian.co.uk
- "Iceland pays the price of Rose's organic neglect". Independent.co.uk. 23 January 2001. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Rankine, Kate (11 April 2001). "Walker quits after Iceland sales dive". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Cave, Andrew (21 August 2001). "'I acted properly' says Iceland's Malcolm Walker". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Laurance, Ben (17 October 2004). "Walker gets all-clear over Iceland". Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- "Iceland's history". Iceland. Retrieved 16 April 2009.[dead link]
- Reece, Damian (29 December 2003). "Grimsey goes on charm offensive to woo wavering Londis shareholders". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- "The one, two, three, four, five year recovery plan!". iceland.co.uk. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- "Iceland Foods CEO Walker Purchases U.K. Frozen Food Chain for $2.3 Billion". Bloomberg. 9 March 2012.
- Iceland returns to Ireland with franchise deal www.thegrocer.co.uk
- "Iceland buys 51 Woolworths stores". BBC. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- Iceland.co.uk[dead link]
- Iceland reports rise in sales, Press Association, 12 June 2009.
- "Iceland in move to former Beatties store « Express & Star". Expressandstar.com. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
- "Iceland forms partnership in Czech Republic". RAC Magazine. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- "Iceland • SandPiperCI". Sandpiperci.com. Retrieved 2013-01-16.