Skint Iceland shoppers put the rest of their meal away when they reach £40 at checkout

Iceland chief executive Richard Walker said a loaf of bread has risen from 89p to £1.10 and milk has risen “quite dramatically”, leading to difficult choices for some shoppers at the checkout

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Cost of living crisis: Iceland boss discusses impact on buyers

Skint shoppers are asking checkout staff to let them know when they’ve reached £40 so they can put the rest of their food back on the shelves, the Iceland boss warned today.

Chief executive Richard Walker said the discount chain was losing customers to food banks after a loaf of bread rose from 89p to £1.10 and milk prices shot up “rather dramatically”.

He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Everyone is feeling the pinch, but certainly the more hard-pressed communities are feeling it more.”

Mr Walker said there was a “perfect maelstrom of inflationary pressures” – although Rishi Sunak “stepped up” and “pulled the right levers” with a £650 payment for beneficiaries and a £400 rebate on utility bills.

He added that many of the problems are global in nature due to factors such as the war in Ukraine affecting wheat and oil.

A shopper in Iceland in Dumfries (stock photo)


Dumfries and Galloway standard)

But he cautioned: “In general I think it’s safe to say everyone is feeling the pinch now, it doesn’t matter who you are.

“We serve some of the poorer communities across the country.

“We hear stories of some of our habits disappearing into food banks.

“[Or] Some customers ask at the checkout when it’s £40 so they can leave the rest of their purchases.”

Richard Walker, UK Managing Director for Iceland

He added: “The reality is there is no typical Icelandic shopper, averages don’t work very well because we have people coming in and spending £5 and people coming in and spending £50.”

The Tory Chancellor opened his wallets earlier than planned after warning energy bills would hit £2,800 a year from October.

He unveiled £650 in two lots for beneficiaries and £400 for all households with no energy bills from July and October respectively.

The hated £200 buy now, pay later rebate on energy bills in October has been scrapped after an outcry.

Rishi Sunak opened his wallets earlier than planned after warning energy bills would hit £2,800 a year from October



There is also £300 for pensioners and £150 for disabled people this autumn and winter.

Part of this is funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas profits – but £10bn of the £15bn is funded by borrowing, despite the Chancellor repeatedly saying he could not bail out of the crisis.

While Mr Sunak claimed the announcement was worth £15bn

And insiders believe the huge giveaway itself could make inflation worse — something OBR forecasts could confirm later this year.

Mr Walker told Sky’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday: “I think the government, especially the Chancellor, has really stepped up and pulled the right levers.

“They already had over 20 billion of the influence of the government of the day or companies like ours.

“So I think they’ve actually done a lot for the general public and hopefully it will ease the pain and the burden as we get into the autumn when inflation could be at its peak.

“There are a lot of things I would like him (Mr. Sunak) to do in business, I don’t know how he’s going to afford it or we’re all going to pay for it, but I think they’re a good one at the moment do the job.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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