Icelandic Bonus boss to open supermarkets in the UK?

jon-asgeir-littleJon Asgeir Johannesson, the former boss of now-bankrupt Baugur Group is preparing to open a three-store chain of low cost supermarkets in London.

The stores are going to be called Best Price. According to Vidskiptabladid, a search is underway to find suitable retail space for the shops.

The paper states that the idea is to build the chain in the same manner as Iceland’s Bonus chain was started in 1989 by Jon Asgeir and his father, Johannes Jonsson. Bonus’s humble beginnings were the starting point for the precipitous rise and fall of the Baugur Group which would end up buying much of the UK high street on credit and going bankrupt along with the Icelandic banks doling out the cash.

Bonus is still bt far Iceland’s biggest chain of supermarkets and is still closely linked to its founders even after the parent company was taken over and sold on by Arion Bank. At the beginning Bonus did not accept credit cards and paid all its suppliers up front and has since grown to its dominant position by offering consistently low prices.

Best Price Foods ltd has been a registered UK company since last June, but was originally called Bonus Foods ltd. According to the registry of UK businesses, the CEO of Best Price is Hordur Logi Hafsteinsson; a former Baugur employee who has previously worked with Jon Asgeir Johannesson and Gunnar Sigurdsson on projects in London.

The company is registered at 413 Oxford Street at the same address as JMS Partners ltd, which is a company owned by Jon Asgeir, Gunnar Sigurdsson and Donald McCarthy, president of House of Fraser department stores.

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