One man set to open 36 Conviviality Retail stores

25 February, 2015

A lone franchisee is to take on 36 of the 37 off-licences that Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail bought from GT News last month.

Jonathan James, former chairman of the Association of Convenience Stores, has signed a 10-year franchise agreement and eventually plans to increase his empire to 100 Conviviality stores.

He said: “With over 600 stores, Conviviality is truly championing local off-licence led convenience on the high street. It’s this unique strategy which makes it stand out from the crowd, attract loyal customers and, most importantly, make franchisees more money.

“It was important for me to join a collaborative brand that works in partnership with its franchisees. Their innovative approach to customer engagement is also appealing with leading edge initiatives such as a new mobile loyalty app and the forthcoming click-and-collect service.”

Conviviality, which also trades as Wine rack and Thorougoods, snapped up the 37 stores in February in a £6 million deal. They are based in Yorkshire and the East Midlands, and 17 were trading as Spar stores.

Amanda Jones, chief operating officer at Conviviality Retail, said: “With an impressive track record in the independent and convenience sector, we are very pleased to welcome another experienced retailer to Conviviality Retail. Jonathan James is a highly skilled operator and we are looking forward to growing our brands with him.”

She added: “Following an increase in average franchisee profits of 10% last year, we’re committed to developing incentives to attract the very best retailers.

“Our priority is to drive profit for our Franchisees by providing outstanding central support, performance related shares and over-rider schemes.

“Stores can now receive up to 3,500 free company shares and a quarterly over-rider payment of up to 1% of wholesale spend. There’s also a half-year growth incentive payment of 0.25% of wholesale spend and a brand new 1% rebate on wholesale spend for stores hitting achievable criteria.

“This is an extremely attractive package for great retailers and business people who want to see their business' grow with a dynamic company and differentiated convenience proposition.”

The news follows the launch of a pilot with Scotmid Co-operative to open the first Bargain Booze franchises in Scotland. Last year also saw the business buy 31 Rhythm & Booze stores across Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

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