Walker takes Iceland managers on £4m Florida holiday

Malcolm Walker, founder and chief executive of the Deeside-based frozen food giant, has treated 800 managers to a lavish annual conference in Walt Disney World Resort.

The jaunt, detailed at length in the latest edition of Retail Week, included trips to theme parks, Universal Studios and Kennedy Space Center.

The resort was chosen to show Disney's world-class standards of customer service as an example for Iceland to follow.

At the end of the week, Walker said the trip had been worthwhile as it raised morale after a gruelling four-year period of aggressive growth. He told Retail Week: "If anyone questioned this investment, the reaction of our staff should justify everything. It may be intangible, but I just know it has been worth it."

Walker returned four years ago to Iceland and helped save the firm from collapse. Iceland posted turnover of £2bn in the year to April 2009, up 16% on 2008. Pretax profit was £163m, up 36%. Iceland plans to open 100 new stores, including 51 ex-Woolworths stores, in the next two years.

Iceland advisers include surveyors Mason Owen and law firm Hill Dickinson.

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what a fantastic idea. Brits can learn a lot from the customer service in America, especially when the employees of these places are earning f*** all in comparison to what those at supermarkets get! You’d be lucky if you get a smile in this country! Well done Malcolm Walker

By Reader