New Icelandic supermarket brings politics to the high street

kosturIcelandic businessman and political campaigner, Jon Gerald Sullenberger promised last December to open a new low cost supermarket in Iceland to rival Bonus. The new store opened yesterday under the name Kostur – but it was not an easy birth.

Due to open at 11 yesterday morning in Kopavogur, Kostur was unable to open for three hours due to technical difficulties with price tags and the computer system. Once customers were allowed inside, they were still unable to purchase products straight away. However, the shop is now fully operational and will be open seven-days-a-week. The shop is located near the Smaralind shopping centre in Kopavogur, a town a few minutes’ drive from Reykjavik.

Sullenberger is known as the former friend and business partner of Jon Asgeir Johannesson who turned star witness in court cases against the former Baugur boss following their falling out.

Kostur is designed to give value conscious Icelanders an alternative to Bonus, which is run by Jon Asgeir and family’s Hagar. The success of Kostur will depend on its ability to provide products at similarly low prices to Bonus – a feat low price competitors Kronan, Fjardarkaup, Netto and Kasko have struggled to achieve.

Hagar has also been in the news recently following Kaupthing’s acquisition of a 40 percent stake in partial payment for the company’s massive debt. The bank could still end up taking over the entire business if Johannesson and his partners cannot secure new finance. Click here to read about the story.


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