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EasyJet founder to launch budget supermarket

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EasyJet tycoon Stelios Haji-Ioannou smiles while waiting to board a flight from Athens to London on September 19, 2000. The easyGroup announced its entry into the food retailing business after the company unveiled plans for a pilot store in London. (AFP/File)

The billionaire founder of the easyJet budget airline said on Sunday he will launch a low-cost supermarket after unveiling plans for a pilot store in south London.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, 46, has applied to trademark easyFoodstore.com and plans to roll out the budget supermarket on a wider scale after monitoring the performance of the store in Croydon.

"I have a feeling that there is a gap in the food retail market - a niche below some of the current budget operators such as Aldi and Lidl," said Haji-Ioannou.

"Concentrating on affordable, basic 'no-brand-name' packet and tinned foods at bargain prices, easyFoodstore underlines the need for additional reliable day-to-day provision of basic foodstuffs. No other details have yet been decided," he added.

The new venture will offer a limited range of tinned and packet foods.