Acting managing director Keith Webb said it had no intention of dropping the Bargain Booze moniker although “all elements” of its operation were being analysed following a “massive” piece of consumer research.
He said: “We won’t be losing the name Bargain Booze. Some people have asked whether we would rename it, but we have an established brand. We are reviewing all elements of the operation. We have done the research to find that ta-dah moment and from everything we have seen [so far], we have a massive opportunity. The research findings weren’t unremittingly positive, but any negatives we can sort.”
The Crewe-based business operates 650 branches under a franchise model with the lion’s share of them in north west of England.
Webb acknowledged that head office needed to do more to foster transparent relations with franchisees, adding that it had already made headway.
He said: “Bargain Booze is a discount model and you’re never going to be churning out the kinds of margins you can with other models.
“When the going’s good and the door is open and everyone is doing all right [franchisee] concerns don’t come up.
"But when, as now, the alcohol industry isn’t on an upward trajectory, the cream on the cake gets very thin and people start to point fingers. The challenge for us is how to get a bigger share of a declining market.
"Selling stuff is easy, but making a profit is the hard part. We now have almost no single figure margins [for franchisees], out- side of cigarettes and spirits. Not many symbol groups can say the same.”