Conviviality Retail has opened the first Bargain Booze store in Kent as it seeks to conquer the affluent south east of England.

The 1,400 sq ft store in Ramsgate was formerly a Budgens and is owned by William Morrison and daughter Annabel Duplessis.

Duplessis said: “Strong competition in the local area meant that we were seeking a point of difference for the store on the high street.

“Launching as Bargain Booze Select Convenience means that we can continue to provide our customers with the groceries they expect from us, whilst also offering exceptionally good  value and a destination alcohol assortment.

“The package offered to Franchisees is very attractive, including shares and a bonus scheme. We’re proud to have launched the first Bargain Booze in the region and are keen to support Conviviality Retail as they grow further in the south.”

Conviviality also owns the Thorougoods and Select Convenience chains, and it took over the 22-strong Wine Rack chain in September in a £1.6 million deal.

Bargain Booze, which is mainly based in the north, sells 60% of its alcohol on promotion and is, on average, 15% cheaper than the multiples according to chief executive Diana Hunter. Wine Rack has been its polar opposite – London-centric, teeming with premium wine and shunning discounts.

Hunter believes the two are a good fit, previously dismissing the notion that Wine Rack will be the group’s main focus as it seeks to finally crack the affluent south east.

She said: “There are affluent areas in the north and in the south. Bargain Booze works best in densely populated residential areas as the corner shop on a shopping parade.”

She has stuck to her word and franchise director Keith Webb said: “We have ambitious expansion plans in the south and this new partnership is the first step on our journey.”

He added: “Bargain Booze Select Convenience is a great choice for independent convenience store owners who are keen to offer their customers value and choice on the high street.

“We are unrivalled for our alcohol proposition but along with a growing grocery selection, we provide retailers with all the tools they need to maximise their existing skills and passion for retailing.”