Bargain Booze to go solo on c-stores

Bargain Booze is launching a new convenience format and identifying trial sites over the next three months.

The shops will typically have floorspace between 1,500 and 3,000 sq ft, around two-thirds of which will be devoted to groceries.

After a 12-month trial partnership with Select & Save, the company has decided to go solo in a bid to rival the likes of Londis, Costcutter and Spar.

Joint managing director Matthew Hughes said: "It's fair to say that while working with Select & Save we have proved that Bargain Booze can power a convenience offering and generate more footfall."

Hughes said he expected to be able to measure the venture's success within three months of trading and then offer the format to existing franchisees. The name will be unveiled next week.

Former Select & Save and Londis employee Mark Crabtree started in the new role of commercial director on April 16 and he will be responsible for pushing the concept forward.

Crabtree said: "I believe that the Bargain Booze off-licence concept is the strongest in the marketplace and the company is now close to having the wherewithal to be able to use its strength as an off-licence retailer to power highly credible convenience stores too."

Bargain Booze has asked its current head of logistics, Peter Dockerty, to

join the board of directors and is looking to appoint a trading director with

experience in licensed products and groceries.

Hughes said the new venture would not mean the company would take its focus away from Bargain Booze: "It's a concept that stands alone in its own right. We are not suddenly stopping being Bargain Booze," he said.

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