Ica respond to hard discount trend

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Discount chains are gaining more customers in Sweden.
Now, Ica responds by expanding its range of private label products.
But CEO Anders Svensson excludes a special discount concept.

According to GfK’s client index, published in the magazine Market, the customer base of Lidl (1.2%) and Netto (0.8%) increases while it reduces for all Ica concepts. Compared with a year ago, Lidl’s customer base has increased by 55,000 persons, Netto with 38,000.
Compared to the other Nordic countries, discount trend is not so obvious, but Ica has noted that it grows around their markets and have for a while been talking about increasing the share of private label products.
For Icanyheter Sweden-CEO Anders Svensson says the focus on this will be intensified.
“We should work more with all our Ica-brands and not just with Ica Basic”.
But to start a new discountchain is not an option.
“We must face hard discount with our four profiles,” says Anders Svensson.
In parallel the widening of Ica brand continues, now with offering travel services through Ica Bank. From May next year customers will be able to order foreign currency through Internet banking or where Ica provides a post office and withdraw it in an Ica store.
Ica is already one of few Swedish banks offering free cash withdrawals abroad.